Google continues to honor and celebrate the lives of notable men and women from around the world who made great contributions to the society.

Today, December 10, aside from Russian painter Zinaida Serebriakova, Google Doodle also recognized African-American Economist Sir W Arthur Lewis. On this day in 1979, Sir Lewis was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Economics for his work to model the economic forces that impact developing countries.

The illustration used in the Google Doodle was made by Manchester-based guest artist Camilla Ru.

Sir William Arthur Lewis was a trailblazer not only in his research, but as the first Black faculty member at the London School of Economics. He was also the first Black instructor to hold a chair in a British University, and the first Black instructor to receive full professorship at Princeton University.

Born on January 23, 1915 on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Sir Lewis faced challenges with racial discrimination as he pursued his studies. In 1932, he won a government scholarship and set out to study at the London School of Economics, where he eventually earned a doctorate in industrial economics.

He quickly ascended the ranks of academia and by 33, he was already a full professor – one of the highest distinctions of a tenured professor.

Sir W Arthur Lewis’ contributions to economics extended beyond the academia. (Getty Images)

Sir Lewis shifted his focus to world economic history and economic development. In 1954, he published his foundational article “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”.

Among many valuable accomplishments, Sir Lewis contributed influential work to the United Nations. He also shared his expertise as an adviser to governments in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and helped establish and served as the first president of the Caribbean Development Bank.

In honor of his significant achievements in the fields of economics, the British government knighted Sir W Arthur Lewis in 1963.

He passed away on June 15, 1991 in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was buried in the grounds of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College named in his honor.


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