J. Patrick Lewis earned his Ph.D. in Economics at The Ohio State University (1974) and taught at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio until 1998. In 1972-73 he and his family spent the academic year in the former USSR, where Lewis completed his doctoral dissertation as an International Research and Exchanges (IREX) Fellow.
He has three children: Beth, Matt and Leigh Ann. The Lewises were the first family to be accepted on this the largest cultural exchange program between the U.S. and the USSR. Lewis returned to Moscow and other Soviet cities for shorter stays in 1977, 1982, 1987, August 1991(during the failed coup), 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999.
Lewis has published extensively in the field of Economics. His articles and reviews have appeared in numerous academic journals, as well as The Nation, The Progressive, Technology Review, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Plain Dealer and other newspapers and magazines. He has had seven short stories and over seventy poems published in literary journals. In 1991 he was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant for his adult poetry.
He is now remarried and lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, with his wife Susan and step-children, Kelly and Scott Marceau. Lewis makes forty elementary school visits a year, keynotes at literature conferences, and presents teachers' workshops on introducing poetry in the classroom.
Lewis has also published twenty-five children's picture books to date (1/00), seventeen of them children's poetry. Ten more children's books have been accepted and are now in production at Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, Penguin Putnam/Dial, Alfred A. Knopf, Creative Editions, and DK Publishing.
His work for children has also appeared inMS. Magazine, Ranger Rick, Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, Highlights For Children, Your Big Backyard, Storyworks, Storytime, Chickadee (Canada), Ahoy (Canada), Book Links and over sixty anthologies. Lewis was commissioned to write the 1992 National Children's Book Week poem, which was printed on one million bookmarks and distributed nationally. He also reviews children's books for the New York Times.