William Luther Pierce III was an American white supremacist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic author and political commentator. He was one of the most influential ideologues of the white nationalist movement for some 30 years before his death. A physicist by profession, he was also an author under the pseudonym Andrew Macdonald of the novels The Turner Diaries and Hunter. Pierce founded the National Alliance, a major white nationalist organization, which he led for almost thirty years.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, to a Presbyterian family of Scots-Irish and English, Pierce was a descendant of Thomas H. Watts, the Governor of Alabama and Attorney General of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. As a child, Pierce did well academically, graduating from high school in 1952. He received a baccalaureate in physics from Rice University in 1955, earned a doctorate from University of Colorado at Boulder in 1962, and became an assistant professor of physics at the Oregon State University in 1962, where he joined the anti-communist John Birch Society. In 1965 he left his tenure at Oregon State University and became a senior researcher for the aerospace manufacturer Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut. In 1966 Pierce moved to the Washington, D.C. area and became an associate of George Lincoln Rockwell, who was assassinated in 1967, after which Pierce became co-leader of the National Youth Alliance, which split in 1974, with Pierce founding the National Alliance.
In 1978, Pierce wrote, under the pseudonym "Andrew Macdonald", the novel The Turner Diaries, which depicts a violent revolution in the United States, followed by world war, and the extermination of non-white races. In 1984, he wrote another novel, Hunter, portraying the actions of a lone-wolf white supremacist assassin. In 1985, Pierce relocated the headquarters of the National Alliance to Hillsboro, West Virginia, where he founded the Cosmotheist Community Church to receive tax exemption for his organization. Pierce spent the rest of his life in West Virginia hosting a weekly shortwave radio show, American Dissident Voices, publishing the internal newsletter National Alliance Bulletin , and overseeing his publications, National Vanguard magazine , Free Speech and Resistance, as well as books published by his publishing firm National Vanguard Books, Inc. and music produced by his record company, Resistance Records.
In 2002, Pierce died of cancer. At the time, the National Alliance was bringing in more than $1 million a year, with more than 1,500 members and a paid national staff of 17 full-time officials, and was better known than at any time in its history, after which it entered a period of internal conflict and decline.