Born in Saint Lucia on January 23rd, 1915 to George and Ida Lewis. He was the fourth of five children.
attended the Anglican School; from there he won a scholarship to the
Saint Mary’s College at the age of ten. Two years later, he
passed the Cambridge Junior Examinations. The next year he passed the
Cambridge School Certificate. At fourteen he had finished
his Secondary education gaining honours in both examinations.
to sit the examinations for the Saint Lucia Scholarship and
the London Matriculation, because of his age, Arthur entered the
Civil Service, where he occupied himself with learning valuable skills
of writing, typing, filing and of being orderly.
winning the Island Scholarship, he opted to study Economics in
preference to Engineering, Medicine or Law. He believed this would be
his way of entering the Municipal service or the private trade. He
entered the London School of Economics to study for the Bachelor of
graduated in 1937 with first class honours, setting a record of
finishing first in his class and obtaining first class marks in seven
of eight subjects. He was awarded a Scholarship for a Ph.D. degree in
Industrial Economics. This he completed in 1940.In addition, he was
given a one-year teaching appointment that was later changed to a four
1948 Arthur joined the University of Manchester, after having married
the former Gladys Jacobs of Grenada the year before. The couple later
had two daughters, Elizabeth and Barbara.
years as the Stanley Jevons Professor of Political Economy at the
University of Manchester saw Dr. Lewis distinguish himself in academic
scholarship and professional achievement. He earned himself the
Title “Consultant Physician to the Ailing Economies.” He served as a
Consultant to a Number of Organizations including the Caribbean
was member of the following: Colonial Advisory Economic Council,
(1951-1953); Committee for National Fuel Policy, Britain; United
Nations Group of Experts; Board of Governors of Queen Elizabeth House,
Oxford; He also served as Consultant to a number of Governments, these
include Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Nigeria, Barbados and
Ghana. He was also Managing Director of the United Nations
Special Fund in 1950.
1959, Arthur Lewis accepted the post of Head of the Department of
Economics at the University of the West Indies (U.W.I.). He also became
the first West Indian born to head the University, serving as Principal
and then as Vice Chancellor.
head of the University, he was responsible for expanding the University
to a full-fledged independent institution with enrollment increasing
from 690 to over 2000. He also established the School of Engineering at
the University, working hard he was able to obtain funding for it from
the Ford Foundation and the United Nations. He served the University
until 1963, the year when he was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen.
From 1966-1973 he served as Chancellor of the University of Guyana.
1963 Sir Arthur, took up appointment at the Distinguished Princeton
University, first as Professor of Public and International Affairs and
then the prestigious position as James Madison Professor of Political
1971 Sir Arthur returned to the Caribbean to set up the Caribbean
Development Bank, he also served as its first President until 1973,
when he returned to Princeton.
Arthur Lewis made history for Saint Lucia and the Caribbean when he was
awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1979. He received the prize
after 25 years of contribution to the field of Economics. It was
awarded for his research into the economic problems of Developing
Arthur in his academic career wrote many books, monographs, official
papers, articles, and chapters in various books. His most
significant publications are:- Economic Survey(1918-1939), ,
Principle of Economic Planning , Theory of Economic Growth,
; Development Planning, . The Agony of the Eight .
received numerous awards which include, Honorary Fellow of the London
School of Economics and of the Weizman Institute. He also obtained a
number of Honorary Degrees from The University of the West Indies,
Boston College, Columbia University, Lagos University, Manchester
University, Toronto University to name a few.
Arthur’s main interests were in the Theory of Growth, Cyclical Growth
of the World Economy, Economic Development and Planning, and especially
Economic Development of the Commonwealth Caribbean. His was the
Economic Model of Industrialization by Invitation, a model adopted by
countries like Jamaica, Malta, Singapore , Hong Kong and Maurititius.
In 1985 Arthur returned home to a grand homecoming celebration during
which the Morne Educational Complex was renamed the Sir Arthur Lewis
Community College by an act of Parliament.
distinguished Son of the soil returned on his retirement to Barbados
where he died on June 15, 1991. Sir Arthur’s body was flown to Saint
Lucia where he was buried on the grounds of the College named for him.