Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of “Sesame Street,” dies at 93

Lloyd Morrisett, the co-founder of the nonprofit organization behind the beloved children’s show “Sesame Street,” has died, Sesame Workshop announced on Monday. He was 93. 

His cause of death has not been publicly announced. 

You are reading: Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of “Sesame Street,” dies at 93

Morrisett and Joan Ganz Cooney paired up in 1966 to develop an idea of how they could help educate children. Three years later, the first episode of “Sesame Street” aired on television. And ever since, the show has sought to help address complicated and sometimes painful issues that children often face, including racism, addiction and homelessness.

Morrisett served as the chairman of the board of trustees for Sesame Workshop, the parent nonprofit of “Sesame Street,” for 30 years before becoming a Lifetime Honorary Trustee. 

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Sesame Workshop tweeted that Morrisett was a “wise, thoughtful, and above all kind leader” who was “constantly thinking about new ways” to educate. 

In 2019, his show became the first television show to ever be honored by the Kennedy Center. Upon the news of the honor, Morrisett told CBS Mornings that he and Cooney got the idea for “Sesame Street” over dinner. 

“The goal was to have children entering school prepared to succeed,” he said. “…After dinner I asked her, ‘Joan do you think television could be used to teach young children?’ That’s the beginning.” 

The company said upon the news of his death that Lloyd left “an outsized and indelible legacy among generations of children the world over, with Sesame Street only the most visible tribute to a lifetime of good work and lasting impact.”

Along with running Sesame Workshop, Morrisett was also the president of the John and Mary R. Markle  Foundation from 1969 to 1998 and also spent time as the vice president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

The company continued to say that Cooney, Morrisett’s longtime business partner and friend, said it best: “Without Lloyd Morrisett, there would be no Sesame Street.” 

“It was he who first came up with the notion of using television to teach preschoolers basic skills, such as letters and numbers,” Cooney said through the Workshop. “He was a trusted partner and loyal friend to me for over fifty years, and he will be sorely missed.”

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