Arthur Lewis, the first African American acting deputy administrator of the DEA, rose to prominence after starting his career on the hardscrabble streets of Harlam as an undercover agent.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Lewis is credited with breaking down racial barriers and winning a legal battle in the 1970s to improve treatment of black and female agents.
It was a tough journey that spanned nearly three decades and involved some of the most dangerous assignments, Lewis, 84, told the Inquirer during an interview at his home in Cherry Hill.
“It was hard work and it was difficult,” Lewis recalled. “But to me, it was very worthwhile.”
Added Lewis Rice, a former special agent, “He’s a living legend, a legend for all ages.”
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