Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of the beloved children’s TV show Sesame Street, passed away at the age of 93, Sesame Factory announced in Monday.
“Without Lloyd Morrisett, there would be no Sesame Street,” co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney wrote in the Sesame Workshop announcement. “It was he who first came up with the idea of using television to teach preschoolers basic skills, such as letters and numbers. He was my trusted partner and loyal friend. for more than 50 years, and he will be deeply missed.”
Morrisett co-founded the Sesame Workshop, originally the Children’s Television Studio, with Ganz Cooney in 1968. He was a member of the board until his death.
motivation for Sesame StreetMorrisett said, which first aired in 1969, was both the civil rights movement and the fact that disadvantaged children were entering school months behind their grades. a 2019 interview with member station WBUR.
“We were hoping to find a way —using television —so that we could help kids who don’t succeed in school do better,” says Morrisett.
The program not only teaches letters and numbers. Throughout its history, it has also taught children about tolerance and dealing with the difficult parts of life, with storylines about everything from parents’ divorce or incarceration to the death of a child. Loved Ones.
It was one of the first shows on television to show black and white children playing together, and after the murder of George Floyd, Sesame Street partnered with CNN to organize a town hall about racism.
Morrisett says part of the program’s purpose is “to show kids that they can be friends with people who aren’t like them”.
Sesame Workshop wrote that the performance was “the clearest tribute to the impact of a lifetime” from a “wise, thoughtful, and kind leader.”
Born in 1929, Morrisett earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College and Ph.D in experimental psychology from Yale University. From 1969-1998, he was president of the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation and founded program in communication and information technology. Prior to his time at the Markle Foundation, he served as vice president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.