Ben Carson Plagiarized Parts of 2012 Book, Just an Oversight?

Ben Carson Iowa Freedom SummitWhen Dr. Ben Carson was still a student at Yale University in the 1970’s, he learned firsthand what the word ‘plagiarize’ means.

In his book America the Beautiful Carson explains that when he was a student he was naive and unaware that lifting another author’s content and putting it into his own without quotes or credit was a no-no.

Here’s his passage about Yale [from Buzzfeed].

Not long after that, when I was a psychology major delving into the mysteries of the human mind, I stepped unknowingly into yet another moral dilemma. During my research for one of the papers in an advanced psychology course, I found some passages that seemed particularly appropriate, and I included them in my writing. I did not, however, indicate that this was the work of someone else; frankly, I had never even heard of the term plagiarism. When the professor asked me to make an appointment to discuss my paper, I was befuddled . When I stepped into his office, however, I could immediately sense the weight of the moment. He pointed out that I had plagiarized and told me that the consequences for doing so normally included expulsion. I could see all of my dreams of becoming a doctor dashed by my stupidity. Even though I did not know the implications of plagiarism, I certainly should have known inherently that what I was doing was wrong. I had done it before without consequences and probably would have continued doing it if I had not been caught. Fortunately for me, the professor was very compassionate, realized that I was naïve, and gave me a chance to rewrite the paper. This raises another question: Is ignorance an acceptable excuse for unethical behavior?

Fast forward to 2012, when taking someone else’s work and claiming it as his own paper continues to plague the doctor.

Below are screenshots to show just one of the many instances of plagiarism found in his book.

According to Buzzfeed, a page from was lifted and used by Carson in America the Beautiful.

Here are screenshots of the book without quotes, name of the author (Sam Wells) or credit in the footnote section of the book.

Carson places in Chapter 6 paragraphs from

Here’s the archived page from

Sam Wells' words on from 2002

Sam Wells’ words on from 2002

Chapter 6 Endnotes, no reference to

Chapter 6 Endnotes, no reference to

Chapter 6 Endnotes, no reference to

Chapter 6 Endnotes, no reference to

Maybe Carson let someone else write the sections with plagiarized content. Maybe the editors at Zondervan Publishing, owned by Harper Collins, do shoddy work. If Carson hadn’t brought up his past, these might be plausible explanations. But as the saying goes: once is an incident; more than once is a pattern.

About Ann Kane

Former editor of Watchdog Wire North Carolina (a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity). Contributor to American Thinker blog.
This entry was posted in Elections and Campaigns, Media, Must Read, News, Person of Interest, Politics and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ben Carson Plagiarized Parts of 2012 Book, Just an Oversight?

  1. Mike says:

    Maybe Carson wrote this book and had a bunch of quotes lying around to add in chapters and this one maybe was written down quickly so he wouldn’t forget it and then when it ended up in the book it was written as one of his own thoughts instead of one credited to someone else.

    The point for some is that the info gets out there. How it gets out there is not as important. For those who must have credit for statements I think that is ridiculous. Most things people think have been thought before.

  2. Pingback: Ben Carson and His Body Man, Well Played |

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