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James Wilson, Author and Social Scientist, Dies at Age 80

He lived in North Andover the past three years.

He was a thinker, a scholar and a writer, and he contributed to the expansion of sociological and criminological thought.

James Q. Wilson, a resident of North Andover for the past three years, passed away on Friday at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after a battle with leukemia. He was 80.

The New York Times has a full story on his life and legacy.

Dr. Wilson is most well known for his "Broken Windows" theory. This was the idea that police should focus on solving small crimes in addition to big ones, because if a window is broken, people will break another window. And then they may go into the building and cause damage. And maybe light fires. The theory was adopted by many municipal leaders nationwide and sparked a movement of community policing.

Dr. Wilson moved to North Andover three years ago to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife Roberta, his son Matthew, daughter Annie Gilbert, his sister Diane Gray and several grandchildren.

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