William Julius Wilson is one of the leading African-American sociologists in the United States, and a pioneer in the field.He received his PhD from Washington State University, and taught at both the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the University of Chicago before moving to Harvard University.He remains there to this day, with the title of University Professor.Much of Wilson's work discusses the plight of the urban African-American poor.His groundbreaking book, "The Declining Significance of Race" (1972) argued that the combination of class and racial barriers prevented inner-city African-Americans from thriving.Other books include "The Truly Disadvantaged" (1986), "When Work Disappears" (1996) and "More Than Just Race" (2009).Wilson's work is highly read, but remains controversial for its emphasis on socioeconomic class, which some feel deemphasizes the effects of race and racial discrimination.His work was also the inspiration for the HBO series, "The Wire."