Outliers Character List

Malcolm Gladwell

The author of Outliers. Gladwell is a journalist who, at the time of writing Outliers, had published two other books, Blink and The Tipping Point. He occasionally refers to his own perceptions and discusses interviews that he has conducted, but his perspective becomes most prominent in the book's epilogue, "A Jamaican Story," which records Gladwell's own family history.

Stewart Wolf

A physician who studied the exceptional health of the residents of Roseto, Pennsylvania.

Bill Joy

An influential computer programmer and the co-founder of Sun Microsystems.

Bill Gates

The founder of Microsoft, and a man who benefited from early exposure to programming technology.

Christopher Langan

A man with an exceptionally high IQ and remarkable learning aptitudes. Langan never earned a college degree or achieved any major form of professional recognition, at least beyond his appearance on the game show 1 vs. 100 and his profile in Outliers.

Lewis Terman

A researcher and psychology professor who conducted a study of individuals with high IQs.

Robert Oppenheimer

A celebrated physicist who became the director of the Manhattan Project.

Joe Flom

An ambitious New York Jewish lawyer who became a named partner at the firm of Skadden & Arps.

Louis Borgenicht

A New York garment worker who became an entrepreneur.

The Howards and the Turners

Two violently feuding families from Harlan County, Kentucky.

Dov Cohen and Richard Nisbett

Two University of Michigan psychologists who linked patterns of aggression in American men to regional origins.

Suren Rattwatte

An experienced pilot and something of a specialist on the role of human interaction and communication in airline operations.

Geert Hofstede

A Dutch psychologist who created a system for distinguishing cultures based on psychological traits.

David Greenberg

A Delta Airlines official who was brought in to reform the practices and procedures followed by Korean Air.


A woman who, under the supervision of mathematics professor Alan Schoenfeld, performed an experiment using a mathematics software program.


A KIPP student who contributes testimony about her life to Outliers.

Donald Nation

Malcolm Gladwell's grandfather.

Daisy Ford (originally Nation)

Malcolm Gladwell's grandmother.