News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec. 11 9, 2020: Google on Thursday posthumously honoured a celebrated Caribbean economist and professor with his own Google Doodle.
St. Lucian-born Sir W. Arthur Lewis was honoured with the Doodle 41 years from the day he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics.
Lewis was born in 1915 and completed the school curriculum entirely by 14. In 1932, when he was finally old enough to sit the examination, Lewis was awarded a government scholarship to study at the London School of Economics – which is where he would eventually recognise economics as his passion.
However, according to Lewis, he arrived at the school with the intention of studying business administration before returning to St Lucia, as racially discriminatory bans in place in British colonies at the time meant that Black men could only go to school to be a lawyer or a doctor, “where they could make a living without government support.”
However, some of his most important research didn’t occur until 1945 and 1950, when he became interested in the history of the world economy since 1870, and development economics.
In addition to later obtaining a full professorship at Princeton University, making him the first Black instructor to do so, Lewis published numerous articles and books about his research, which were instrumental in their modelling of the economics of developing countries.
Throughout his career, Lewis also acted as an advisor to governments in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean, and in 1963, he was knighted by the British government for his achievements.
Lewis became a Nobel Prize recipient in 1979, when he was jointly awarded the prize for his research in economics.
After his death at the age of 76 on 15 June 1991, Lewis was buried on the grounds of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in Saint Lucia, a university named in his honor.