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'Sesame Street' Co-creator Lloyd Morrisett Dead at 93

lloyd morrisett
Lloyd Morrisett (Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 25 January 2023 12:42 PM EST

Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of "Sesame Street," has died at age 93.

The news was confirmed Tuesday in a statement on Twitter by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit Morrisett helped to co-found under the name the Children's Television Workshop.

"A wise, thoughtful, and above all, kind leader of the Workshop for decades, Lloyd was fascinated by the power of technology and constantly thinking about new ways it could be used to educate," the statement read.

With a background in psychology, Morrisett began his career as an experimental educator, according to the Guardian. Through his work at Carnegie Corporation, a philanthropic foundation focusing on education, he sought ways to educate children from less advantaged backgrounds. 

Morrisett teamed with public television producer Joan Ganz Cooney to create the Children's Television Workshop. Their goal was to produce educational programs for children. Their first show, "Sesame Street,"  debuted in November 1969 and, by the end of its first season, had reached more than half of the 12 million 3- to 5-year-olds in the U.S.

In a 2004 interview, Morrisett said the moment that inspired the show was waking up one morning in 1965 to find his 3-year-old daughter enthralled by a station identification message on the television. The next year he met Cooney and told her all about it. 

"There was something fascinating about it," Morrisett said, according to the Guardian. "What is a child doing watching a station identification signal. What does this mean? I didn't know. I said, 'Joan, do you think television could be used to teach young children?' Her answer was, 'I don't know, but I'd like to talk about it.'"

"Sesame Street" became the largest informal education source in the world, earning nearly 200 Emmys over the years. In 2019, "Sesame Street" became the first show to be honored by the Kennedy Center, CBS reported. 

"Without Lloyd Morrisett, there would be no 'Sesame Street,'" Cooney said in the statement by Sesame Workshop. "It was he who first came up with the notion of using television to teach preschoolers basic skills, such as letters and numbers. He was a trusted partner and loyal friend to me for over 50 years, and he will be sorely missed."

Zoe Papadakis

Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.

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Lloyd Morrisett, co-creator of "Sesame Street," died at age 93.
lloyd morrisett, sesame street, dead
Wednesday, 25 January 2023 12:42 PM
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