Sir Arthur Lewis Arthur Lewis was born on the 23rd January 1915 in Castries, St. Lucia, to graduate school teachers, George and Ida Lewis, both from Antigua. At the early age of seven he took ill and had to stay home, his father George was worried that he may fall behind in his class and elected to teach him at home for the three months that he was forcibly away from school. Such was his father's teaching, and the young Arthur's aptitude, that when he returned to school after his illness, Arthur was to say: "In fact he taught me in three months as much as the school taught in two years, so on return, I was shifted from grade 4 to 6. So that the rest of my school life, up to the age of 18 was spent with the fellow students or workers two or three years older than I. This gave me a terrible sense of physical inferiority, as well as an understanding, which has remained ever since, that high marks are not everything." Arthur began his secondary school education at St. Mary's College in 1925, as a shy quiet boy at the age of ten. Just two years later he passed the Junior Cambridge Examinations. Then a little later the Senior Cambridge School Certificate, completing his secondary education by the tender age of fourteen! He was deemed too young to sit the biennial St. Lucia scholarship, to the London Matriculation on which was awarded, and was therefore given a small clerical job in the Department of Agriculture. Of this, his first job Arthur Lewis said; "This job was not wasted on me, since it taught me to write, to type, to file and to be orderly. But it was at the expense of not reading enough history and literature, for which these years of one's life are most appropriate. In 1932 I sat the examination and won the scholarship. Eventually I decided to study Business administration, planning to return to St. Lucia in the municipal or in private trade. I would simultaneously study law, to fall back on if nothing administrative turned up. So I went to the London School of Economics (LSE) to do a Bachelor of Commerce degree." Arthur distinguished himself in his studies. When he sat his finals, he gained First Class Honours and graduated with the highest marks ever in the history of the LSE. The LSE offered him a scholarship to do a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics, which he duly accepted. Then in 1938 at just 23 years old, he was given a teaching appointment at the LSE, which would have been sensational for a British University, let alone the highly prestigious LSE, for some one of his youthful age let alone colour. Arthur Lewis duly graduated with his Ph.D. He worked at the British Board of Trade as a Temporary Principal, and in 1943 in the following year he went to the Colonial Office, in a similar capacity, while still lecturing at the LSE. In 1947 Arthur Lewis journeyed to Grenada to marry the beautiful Gladys Jacobs. Gladys had gone to England in 1937 to train as a teacher, where she'd met Arthur Lewis. Arthur Lewis was appointed Reader in Colonial Economics at the University of London in 1947. Then one year later, Manchester University after hearing of him being refused a job as a Professor because he was black, to their credit approached him and offered him the Stanley Jevon's Chair in Political Economy. Arthur Lewis accepted and thus in 1948, at the age of just 33 years, became the youngest person ever, not just in Britain, but in the entire history of British Commonwealth, to hold a Chair in Economics! The ten years that Arthur Lewis was to spend at Manchester University was to be filled with a remarkable dazzling display of scholarship. In 1949, he published three books! 'Economic Survey 1919-1939', which the New Statesman called "A little masterpiece of succinct analysis" The second was 'Overhead Costs', which was an analysis of the weaknesses of public corporations, which led the Manchester Guardian newspaper to say; "Mr. Lewis is not only one of the liveliest minds among the younger economists, but for so adept a theorist, he has an unusual sense both for practical thinking and plain language." The third book was "The Principles Of Economic Planning.' In 1955 at just 40 years old, Arthur Lewis published his world acclaimed study 'The Theory of Economic Growth', It was hardly off the press before a second edition was ordered. Of this book the Observer newspaper said "A remarkable tour de force, the bold attempt to embrace so many separate disciplines brilliantly succeeds." The Manchester Guardian said; "A very important book, It sets out frankly and clearly, without technicalities the problems to be solved if mankind is to be freed from poverty. It will be of the utmost value to politicians, administrators, and laymen, and will instruct, stimulate and provoke specialists." In 1958 Professor Arthur Lewis was appointed Principal of the University College of the West Indies, Mona, where he met a small elite college, working for external degrees from London University. He brought with him a grant of one million US dollars, from the Ford Foundation and one of three quarter million from the United Nations. In just four years at the University, he increased the student population to 2,000 plus, from 690. He also made the College into an independent University. In 1979 Sir Arthur Lewis became the first black man to be awarded the Nobel Prize, for an intellectual discipline, when he was awarded it for Economics.
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