Lloyd Morrisett, who helped pave the way for “Sesame Street,” died Monday at the age of 93.
Morrisett and Joan Ganz Cooney began working on the Children’s Television Workshop (CTW) — which would later spawn “Sesame Street” — in 1968, according to TMZ.
Morrisett’s family and estate have not released the cause of death.
“Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of our esteemed and beloved co-founder Lloyd N. Morrisett, PhD, who passed away at the age of 93”, tweeted Atelier Sesame next to a photo of Morrisett. “A wise, thoughtful and above all kind leader of the Workshop for decades, Lloyd was fascinated by the power of technology and constantly thought of new ways to use it to educate.”
According to Cooney, “Sesame Street” would not have happened without Morrisett.
“Without Lloyd Morrisett, there would be no Sesame Street,” Cooney, 93, said in a statement attached to the organization’s tweet. “He was the one who came up with the idea of using television to teach preschoolers basic skills, such as letters and numbers.”
According to Morrisett, the idea for a children’s channel came about after watching her three-year-old child become very engaged in family television.
“We found that these children would start school three months late and, by the end of first grade, a year late – and fall further and further behind,” Morrisett said in an interview for the documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street.”
“And I was wondering if there was any possibility that television could be used to help children in school.”
Morrisett served on the Children’s Television Workshop Board of Directors until 2000, when he became Chairman Emeritus of the Board.
In 2019, he and Cooney were praised for creating “Sesame Street” at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C.
The children’s program went on to honor its creator by saying that Morrisette left an “indelible legacy among generations of children around the world.
Sesame Workshop called Morriset a “wise, thoughtful and above all kind leader of the workshop for decades, Lloyd was fascinated by the power of technology and constantly thought of new ways to use it to educate”.