C. Wright Mills

Charles Wright Mills (28 August 1916 – 20 March 1962) was an American sociologist, and a professor of sociology at Columbia University from 1946 until his death in 1962. Mills was published widely in popular and intellectual journals. He is remembered for several books, such as The Power Elite, which introduced that term and describes the relationships and class alliances among the US political, military, and economic elites; White Collar: The American Middle Classes, on the American middle class; and The Sociological Imagination, which presents a model of analysis for the interdependence of subjective experiences within a person's biography, the general social structure, and historical development.

C. Wright Mills
Charles Wright Mills

(1916-08-28)28 August 1916
Waco, Texas, US
Died20 March 1962(1962-03-20) (aged 45)
  • Dorothy Helen Smith (m. 1937; div. 1940; m. 1941; div. 1947)
  • Ruth Harper (m. 1947; div. 1959)
  • Yaroslava Surmach
    (m. 1959)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisA Sociological Account of Pragmatism (1942)
Doctoral advisor
Academic work
Sub-disciplinePolitical sociology
School or traditionNew Left
Notable studentsMorris Rosenberg[5]
Notable works
Notable ideas

Mills was concerned with the responsibilities of intellectuals in post–World War II society, and he advocated public and political engagement over disinterested observation. Mills's biographer, Daniel Geary, writes that Mills's writings had a "particularly significant impact on New Left social movements of the 1960s era."[14] It was Mills who popularized the term New Left in the US in a 1960 open letter, "Letter to the New Left".[15]