Stephen Henry Lewis is a politician, broadcaster, diplomat, author, and university professor from Canada. He is well-known for his contribution to society as a result of his work in the field of HIV/AIDS in Africa. He grew up in a political setting, as his father, David Lewis, was the Co-operative Commonwealth’s National Secretary. He enrolled in the University of Toronto, where he developed his interest in social concerns and politics by joining the Hart House debating committee and taking advantage of the opportunity to debate with John F. Kennedy. Lewis was unable to complete his academic education due to failing his final examinations and instead worked for communist International. There he had the opportunity to travel to Africa and gain an understanding of the country’s fundamental structure and plight. He began his political career as the leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Lewis has devoted his life to politics, the United Nations, and academia, but most crucially to bringing Africa and the rising pandemic there to the attention of the general public and world authorities. Due to his expertise in politics, social work, and diplomatic work, he was appointed Scholar-in-Residence at McMaster University’s Faculty of Social Sciences.
Childhood & Adolescence
Stephen Lewis was born in Ottawa, Ontario, on November 11, 1937, to Sophie and David Lewis. Because his father was the National Secretary of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), politics had a significant role in their household.
Lewis and his family moved to Toronto in 1950, where he attended Oakwood Collegiate and subsequently Harbord Collegiate Institute for his final three years of high school. He continued his education at the University of Toronto.
He was appointed to the Hart House debating committee at Toronto University, which allowed him the opportunity to debate Senator and future American President John F. Kennedy one day. His performance was lauded.
Lewis completed his third year of university studies at the University of British Columbia but failed his final exams. In the 1960s, he attended law school twice and dropped out of his university programs.
Stephen Lewis’s Career
Lewis dropped out of university in the 1960s to work as a secretary for the Socialist International, when he was offered the opportunity to attend a conference in Ghana. He worked, traveled, and taught in a variety of locations throughout Africa.
In 1963, Tommy Douglas summoned him back to Canada, and upon his return, he was elected to the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Lewis was elected Ontario’s New Democratic Party’s leader.
In 1972, Lewis was a vocal supporter of a movement opposing the growing influence of a radical left-wing group dubbed ‘The Waffle.’ He believed that this internal party constituted a threat to the party’s credibility.
Lewis campaigned for his party with enthusiasm, determination, and oratory skills in the 1975 elections. As a result, his party, the NDP, more than doubled its MPs from 19 to 38.
The next elections revealed a different tale, with the NDP stagnating in growth and losing its standing as Official Opposition to the Liberals, which angered Lewis to the point where he resigned as party leader in 1978.
Lewis was appointed Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations by Governor-General Jeanne Sauve in 1984, on the advice of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
He appeared on Peter Gzowski’s CBC Radio show ‘Morningside’ with Dalton Camp and Eric Kierans while he was the Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations. He was mostly a member of the show’s weekly political panel.
Lewis contributed to the strength of his diplomatic career by serving as UNICEF’s Deputy Director from 1995 to 1999 and dedicating five years of his life to serving as the United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa (2001-2006).
He has been lauded for his work at the United Nations as a SPECIAL Envoy for HIV/AIDS, where he drew public and international leaders’ attention to the disease’s rising catastrophe in Africa.
In 2005, he released the book ‘Race Against Time,’ in which he discussed his experiences as an international diplomat and the international community’s effectiveness in resolving Africa’s rising pandemic.
Due to his expertise in politics, social work, and diplomatic work, he was invited to become a Scholar-in-Residence at McMaster University’s Faculty of Social Sciences in 2006. Additionally, he was named a Senior Fellow at Toronto University.
In 2009, he launched a campaign called ‘A Dare to Remember,’ in which he urged the public to take action to improve Africa’s poor circumstances. He collaborated with personalities such as K-os, Jack Layton, and Duff Gibson.
Personal History and Legacies
Lewis married Michele Landsberg, a journalist, in 1963. They have three children together: Avi Lewis, who is married to journalist and author Naomi Klein, and Ilana Naomi and Jenny Leah, both of whom are journalists.
Estimated Net worth
Stephen is one of the wealthiest celebrities and is placed on the list of the most popular celebrities. Stephen Lewis’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, based on our analysis of Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.
Lewis is the name of two secondary schools in Toronto.
He is a World Citizenship Award laureate.