A Caribbean Patriot, Sir William Arthur Lewis


Sir William Arthur Lewis was born on this date in 1915. He was a Black Caribbean economist, educator and Nobel Prize winner.


From St. Lucia, he was the fourth son of George Ferdinand and Ida Lewis. He was educated in St. Lucia up to the secondary Level. He proved during this time to be quite a scholar. Later he entered the London School of Economics where he distinguished himself as a student of Economics. His excellence was rewarded, when at the age of twenty-three, he was made a lecturer. During this time he published numerous papers and pamphlets.


Lewis in 1947 married Gladys Jacobs and had two daughters, Elizabeth and Barbara. Between 1951 and 1957 he was Stanley Jevons Professor of Political Economy at Manchester University. During this time, he was also adviser to numerous governments and served as adviser on underdeveloped countries. He advised the Ghana government in 1953 and in 1957. He also served in the same capacity in Nigeria, Trinidad and Barbados. He had also been on numerous United Nations Commissions.


He won a Nobel Prize in 1979, with Theodore Schultz, for pioneering research on economic development in emerging countries. He published a book, The Theory of Economic Growth, in 1954 that is regarded as the seminal study in the field. In this book he advocated the development of infrastructure, education in all its areas and specialization in agriculture and high employment.


Arthur Lewis also served as Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, adviser to the British Colonial Development Corporation, Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor at Princeton University and as the Chairman of the Caribbean Development Bank. Sir Arthur Lewis died on June 15th, 1991. He is buried on the grounds of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in St. Lucia a marked the end of a distinguished St. Lucian and Caribbean patriot.


Reference:

Africana The Encyclopedia of the African and

African American Experience

Editors: Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Copyright 1999

ISBN 0-465-0071-1

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