monetize the deficit. Inflation soared;
investment collapsed. While common folk
applauded the changes, capitalists didn’t.
Manley was unabashed, proclaiming that, if
Jamaica’s rich didn’t like his policies, there
were five flights a day to Miami.
Cadbury and other multinationals pulled
out, further hampering the economy. A
shortage of government revenue led to cuts
at Henry’s mother’s laboratory. Soon, it was
apparent that the school Henry attended
would close due to a lack of funding. His
parents weren’t rich, but they took Manley’s
advice and left Jamaica. Sponsored by
Henry’s sister, an American citizen by birth,
they immigrated to Illinois, where they
had earned their doctorates, and the family
settled in the Chicago suburb of Wilmette.
A little football, a lot of books
Henry continued to excel as a student
and an athlete, playing football, basketball
and baseball. Approaching college, he was
recruited by Division I football teams as a
receiver. He dreamed of attending Stanford
University on a football scholarship, but the
school landed more-sought-after recruits.
The rejection led him to take a risk that
brought him to Chapel Hill.
Henry’s mother had become wary
of the blandishments of college coaches.
She wanted her son to decline a football
scholarship offer from the University of
Wisconsin and interview for Carolina’s
Morehead Scholarship. “My mother had
a sense I should go and see what the
Morehead was about. I trusted her gut, and
she was right.” He won the scholarship and
didn’t have to forsake his sport: He walked
onto the football team and played for two
years as a backup receiver. He also was a
finalist in the campus’s 1991 slam-dunk
competition, losing in the final round to
one of his football teammates.
In Carolina’s classrooms, Henry’s
curiosity about economics led him to
William Darity Jr., then a UNC economics
professor and now a professor of public
policy and African and African-American
studies at Duke University. Darity — son
of Sandy Darity ’ 64 (PhD), the first black
person to earn a doctorate at Carolina
— became a mentor, sharing articles on
development and economic history. The
younger man was hooked.
He took aim at the economics doctoral
program at Massachusetts Institute of
‘My mother had a sense
Peter Henry ’ 91
I should go and see what
the Morehead was about.
I trusted her gut, and
she was right.’
Peter Henry ’ 91
Technology and deferred acceptance
while he attended Oxford University on a
The MIT economics department is the
sort of place where Nobel Prize winners
roam hallways and professors take leaves of
absence to sit on the president’s Council
of Economic Advisers. Even as a student,
Henry stood out for his decency and
maturity, says Stan Fischer, then an MIT