Norman Lewis was an etymologist, grammarian, and lexicographer. Lewis was a major expert on English language abilities, and his best-selling book 30 Days to a More Potent Vocabulary, published by Pocket Books in 1971, promised to teach readers how to increase their skills in fifteen minutes a day. He began his career as a professor at New York University and City College of New York. He taught English at Rio Hondo College, a two-year community college in Whittier, California, from 1964 until 1995, including grammar, etymology, and vocabulary. He was also the chairman of Rio Hondo's communications department for more than a decade.