Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen is a much-admired, award winning economist, writer and philosopher. Read this biography to learn more about his childhood, profile, life and skills.

FAMOUS AS Economist
DATE OF BIRTH 03 November 1933
EDUCATION Trinity College
University of Calcutta
Presidency College
Visva-Bharati University
University of Cambridge
St Gregory’s School
BORN IN Santiniketan
FATHER Ashutosh Sen
MOTHER Amita Sen
SPOUSE/PARTNER Emma Georgina Rothschild (m. 1991), Eva Colorni (m. 1971–1985), Nabaneeta Dev Sen (m. 1959–1971)
CHILDREN Antara Dev Sen, Nandana Sen
AWARDS 1998 – Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work
1999 – Bharat Ratna Award
2000 – Leontief Prize for his outstanding contribution to economic theory

Amartya Sen is a Noble Prize winning Indian economist.  A voice of the poor and malnourished, tirelessly engrossed in the problems of the society’s poorest people, he has devised practical solutions to prevent food shortage and starvation.

This Nobel laureate has helped create the United Nations Human Development Index and was featured on Time Magazine’s list of ‘World’s 50 Most Influential People Who Matter’.  A leading intellectual, Sen’s books have been translated in more than thirty languages across the world. Some of his noteworthy publications include, ‘Development as Freedom’, ‘Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlements and Deprivation’, ‘On Economic Inequality’, ‘Inequality Reexamined’, ‘The Argumentative Indian’ and ‘The Idea of Justice’.

Currently a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University, Sen has also been a Professor at the London School of Economics and The University of Oxford. He has won an array of laurels including the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in India. Committed sincerely to the cause of ending poverty and deprivation, this celebrated economist, is the sixth Indian to receive a Nobel and the first Asian recipient of the Economics Prize. To learn more interesting facts about his childhood, personal life and achievements in the field of writing and academics, scroll down and continue to read this biography.

Amartya Sen was born in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India to Ashutosh Sen, a Professor, who later served as the Chairman of the West Bengal Public Service Commission, and Amita Sen. In 1956, at the age of 23, he was appointed as the Professor and head of the Economics Department at the Jadavpur University, Calcutta. After two years, he went back to Cambridge University to pursue his Ph.D.

In 1998, his Nobel Prize Lecture publication titled ‘The Possibility of Social Choice’, in which he declared that welfare economics was a core theme in social change theory. He is currently working as a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University and also the Thomas W. Lamont University Professor.

His publication ‘Development as Freedom’ was recognised by the Nobel Prize committee as an important contribution in the field of economic development theory. One of his seminal 1992 works ‘Inequality Reexamined’, is an acclaimed book that brought together all the important themes of his work from over a decade. In this book he addresses some of the most important concerns of inequality.


  • In 1954, he was awarded the Adam Smith Prize.
  • In 1998, he was the recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences that he received for his contribution to the field of ‘welfare economics’.
  • In 1999, he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, which is ‘the highest civilian award in India’.
  • In 2011, he was awarded National Humanities Medal.

This admired Indian Bharat Ratna awardee and writer has been a permanent resident of the U.S for almost 50 years but choose to retain only his Indian citizenship.

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