Google on December 10 featured Nobel Prize-winning St Lucian economist and professor, Sir William Arthur Lewis, through Google Doodle on its homepage.

The doodle is illustrated by Manchester-based guest artist Camilla Ru. It shows Lewis smiling in front of a blackboard, which has a graph drawn over it along with the word ‘Google’ in the standard digital-7 font.

Considered a pioneer in the field of modern development economics, Lewis was the first Black faculty member at the London School of Economics, the first Black instructor to get a full professorship at the Princeton University, and the first Black person to hold a chair in a British University (Manchester University).

“On this day in 1979, Lewis was jointly awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his pioneering work to model the economic forces that impact developing countries,” said Google in its explanation on celebrating the economist on December 10.

Born on January 23, 1915, in the capital city of Castries in St Lucia, William Arthur Lewis won a government scholarship to study at the London School of Economics, where he later earned a doctorate in industrial economics.

By the age of 33, Lewis had become a full professor, achieving one of the highest distinctions of a tenured professor. He published his seminal article ‘Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour’ in 1954.

Sir Arthur Lewis was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 1979 “for their pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries”.

Among other accomplishments, Lewis contributed to the United Nations and shared his expertise with many governments in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. He helped establish the Caribbean Development Bank and served as its first president.

Lewis was knighted for his contribution to economics in 1963.

He passed away in Barbados on June 15, 1991.

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