Joan Ganz Cooney

Joan Ganz Cooney followed her interest in education and her desire to assist preschool-aged disadvantaged children in creating the Children's Television Workshop and its most acclaimed program, Sesame Street.

Ms. Cooney received a B.A. from the University of Phoenix in 1951, and moved into the field of television in 1952. Initially working as a publicist for NBC, she was drawn to public television a few years later with its greater opportunities for analyzing major issues.

In 1968, Ms. Cooney established the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) with the aid of a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, and set up the groundbreaking guidelines for creating a whole new kind of educational programming for children.

She sought to exploit the unique features of television in creating a curriculum designed to supplement classroom learning, with no central star but an varied multiracial cast. In creating the wildly successful Sesame Street, children's television was altered forever. Ms. Cooney and CTW went on to create other shows, including Feelin' Good (1974), The Best of Families (1977), 3-2-1 Contact (1980), and Square One TV (1987).

Information as of 1995