Ben Carson Issues Apology for Plagiarism in His Book

PHOTO: In this March 8 2014 file photo, Dr. Ben Carson, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks in National Harbor, Md.Susan Walsh/AP Photo
In this March 8 2014 file photo, Dr. Ben Carson, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks in National Harbor, Md.

Dr. Ben Carson apologized today for plagiarizing parts of his 2012 book, "America the Beautiful," saying he is working with his editors to add attribution to text taken from other publications.

“I attempted to appropriately cite and acknowledge all sources in America the Beautiful, but inadvertently missed some. I apologize, and I am working with my editors to rectify the situation,” Carson said in a statement provided to ABC News.

The instances of plagiarism were revealed by BuzzFeed News, which also first reported Carson’s apology.

The book is published by Zondervan, a Christian imprint of Harper Collins and a spokesperson for the publisher said in a statement, “It has become apparent that further source citation is appropriate in Dr. Carson’s America the Beautiful. Any necessary updates will be made in subsequent printings.”

BuzzFeed revealed earlier this week that several sections of Carson’s book were lifted from different sources including a website titled SocialismSucks.net, a CBS News article, several other online articles, and from other conservative writing.

One of the instances of plagiarism uncovered was from conservative historian William Federer. In a lengthy statement, Federer says he was “dismayed” at the Buzzfeed article and said he “feel(s) grossly misrepresented.”

“Any missing attributions were simply editor's oversight,” he said. “It is disingenuous for the writer of the BuzzFeed article to level the accusation of plagiarism against Dr. Carson.”

Buzzfeed reported that Carson cited Federer, but also that the passages by Federer were copied in Carson’s book. Buzzfeed did report that Federer thought the citation was sufficient.

In the statement, Federer goes on to say he helped Carson with the book and he does not believe his material was used inappropriately and instead he believes it was cited sufficiently with “correct attribution.”

The conservative author said he provided his work to Carson and told “him that I hoped he would find them interesting and that he had full permission to use any of the material in the books as he liked.”

Federer said he also gave permission to Carson to “duplicate 10,000 words or less” as long as “acknowledgement is given.” He added that he read and approved Carson’s manuscript.

“He has shown an honest and sincere effort to give acknowledgment, and for this I am very grateful,” Federer added.

Carson, a well known former neurosurgeon, has said he is considering a 2016 run for the GOP presidential nomination. He's not the only possible 2016 contender who has been accused of plagiarism. BuzzFeed also revealed that parts of Sen. Rand Paul's 2013 book were lifted from other sources. Paul's book was updated.