STScI Preprint #1203
The distribution of black hole (BH) masses M in galaxies is constrained by photometric and kinematic studies of individual galaxies, and by the properties of the quasar population. I review our understanding of these topics, present new results of adiabatic BH growth models for HST photometry of elliptical galaxies with brightness profiles of the `core' type, and discuss the implications of ground-based stellar kinematical data. It is not yet possible to uniquely determine the BH mass distribution, but the available evidence is not inconsistent with a picture in which: (i) a majority of galaxies has BHs; (ii) there is a correlation (with large scatter) between \Mbh and spheroid luminosity Lsph of the form M 10-2 Lsph (solar B-band units); and (iii) the BHs formed in a quasar phase through mass accretion with efficiency 0.05.
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