This Day in Black History: Jan. 23, 1915

Sir William Arthur Lewis, a prominent Caribbean economist, educator and Nobel Prize winner, was born.

Posted: 01/23/2013 08:00 AM EST

(Photo: Courtesy of Caribbean Development Bank)

William Arthur Lewis, who was born in St. Lucia on Jan. 23, 1915, was an economist who was celebrated for his work in the area of economic development.

In 1979, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics. He earned a bachelor of science degree in 1937 and a doctorate three years later from the London School of Economics, where he worked until 1948. When Ghana established itself as an independent nation in 1957, Lewis served as the country’s first economic adviser and assisted in establishing Ghana’s development plan. In 1959, he was appointed vice chancellor of the University of the West Indies. In 1963, he was knighted and appointed as a professor of economics at Princeton University, where he remained until his retirement in 1983. He was also director of the Caribbean Development Bank.

Lewis died in 1991 in Barbados and was buried on the grounds of the community college in St. Lucia that was named in his honor.

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