William A. “Sandy” Darity Jr. was born in Norfolk, Virginia and raised largely in Amherst, Massachusetts. His father, William A. Darity Sr., was a trustee at the University of North Carolina. Darity Jr. graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1974, where he earned honors in economics and political science. He was named a Marshall Scholar after undergraduate school, and on the scholarship spent two years studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 1978 he completed a doctorate in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In 1980, Dr. Darity became a staff economist in the research department of the National Urban League. He began a long period as a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. He was then a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in 1984.
Darity has served as a Director or on the board of a number of organizations. From 1989 to 1990 was a fellow at the National Humanities Center. He became a member of the American Economic Association’s executive committee from 1993 to 1996, and in 1997 he was President of the Southern Economic Association. He is also a former President of the National Economic Association.
He has served as a professor at Grinnell College, the University of Maryland at College Park, the University of Texas at Austin, Simmons College in Boston, and Claremont McKenna College. From 2003 to 2005 he was a William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professor at Spelman College. He has also either taught or served as a fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science, the University of Tulsa and the Centro de Excelencia Empresarial (Monterey, Mexico).
Darity was awarded the 2012 Westerfield Award from the National Economic Association, their highest honor. Previous recipients include Nobel Laureate Sir W. Arthur Lewis, Phyllis Wallace, and Marcus Alexis. He was also honored as the Lewis-Oaxaca Distinguished Lecturer at the 2016 American Economic Association’s Summer Mentoring Pipeline Conference.