In 1941, Walton A. Lewis founded the W.A. Lewis Agency. Although he held a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Northern Iowa, like most educated black men at that time, still found it impossible to find a good job. So he began his career sweeping floors in the Ford Rouge foundry in 1938. Determined to build a professional insurance agency, he obtained his insurance agent's license on April 17, 1941 and proceeded to set up his own business.