LCA | Dec 10, 2020

Google Doodles honours St Lucian Nobel Laureate Sir Arthur Lewis

Gavin Riley

Gavin Riley / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Google Doodle celebrates famed St Lucian economist Sir Arthur Lewis. (Photo: Camilla Ru for

Using the Google search engine, you may have seen the company’s creative and interactive Doodles interface, and on Thursday (December 1o) it honours late St Lucian economist and Nobel Laureate Sir Arthur Lewis.

Clicking on the artwork brings you to a landing page, in which Google explains that 41 years ago to this day, Lewis received Nobel Prize in Economics.

“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,” the company noted.

Today’s inspiring Google Doodle was illustrated by Manchester-based guest artist Camilla Ru.

The Google Doodle also drew the attention of sitting St Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastenet, as the island celebrates the distinction of having not one but two Nobel laureates, sirs Arthur Lewis and Derek Walcott.

“When you’re using Google today, you may notice an illustration of Sir Arthur Lewis, who is Saint Lucia’s first Nobel Laureate winner in the field of Economics,” Chastenet began in a Facebook post.

Sir Lewis in his later years. He died in June 1991, in Bridgetown, Barbados and later laid to rest in his home country of St Lucia. (Photo: St Lucia Star)

“St Lucian economist, professor, & author Sir W. Arthur Lewis is considered not only a pioneer in modern development economics but also a trailblazer for the black community in academia,” Google wrote on Twitter.

According to St Lucian archives, Lewis was born in the capital Castries on January 23, 1915.

At a time when the island was still a British colony, Lewis was a gifted student and finished his high school education at just 14.

Lewis, now a growing young man, had initially set his sights on engineering after several years of work, but faced with racism directed his efforts to economics.

In 1933, when Lewis was aged 18, he earned a scholarship to attend the prestigious London School of Economics—becoming the first black man to be accepted in the institution’s then 38-year history.

While enrolled at LSE, Lewis achieved similar success as he did in his formative years. His academic superiority was noticed and admired by his peers and professors with Lewis earning his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in 1936 and a Ph.D. four years later.

As a testatment to his academic brilliance, Sir Arthur Lewis was a fully tenured professor at age 33. (Photo: Famous People)

“Lewis shifted his focus to world economic history and economic development and in 1954 published his foundational article ‘Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour’. Among many valuable accomplishments, Lewis contributed influential work to the United Nations and shared his expertise as an adviser to governments in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. He also helped establish and served as the first president of the Caribbean Development Bank.  In honor of his lifelong achievements, the British government knighted Lewis in 1963,” Google noted.


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