Co-creator of Sesame Street, Lloyd Morrisett dies at 93. The popular and beloved show which started out helping kids to prepare for school would, however, go on to teach many important and key lessons and in the process become one of the longest-running programs on TV.
Co-Creator of Sesame Street Dies At 93
Lloyd Morrisett who is the co-creator of the famous children’s TV show Sesame Street has passed on. The announcement was made by the Sesame Workshop on Monday. The co-creator was 93 and he died of natural causes at his home in San Diego on Sunday, his daughter Julie revealed to The Hollywood Reporter.
Morrisett back in 1966 teamed up with friend Joan Ganz Cooney to help develop a program that could help to prepare kids for early schooling. And three years later, Sesame Street made its debut, teaching kids how to read and count with the help of Big Bird, the Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, and the Muppets all created by the legendary puppeteer Jim Henson.
Cooney’s Reaction to the Death of Lloyd
“Without Lloyd Morrisett, there would be no Sesame Street,” Cooney in a tweet accompanying the announcement by Sesame Street tweeted. “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 fifty years, and he will be sorely missed.”
The Impact of Sesame Street on the Lives of Kids
The show however would go on to teach kids about divorce, tolerance, and racism. The settings and cast of the show was crafted to be a welcoming mirror for underprivileged children thus reflecting the diversity of urban areas such as New York City. And amid the backdrop of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, it was one of the first TV shows to show Black and white kids playing together.
“It was an urban environment, designed from the beginning to show diversity,” Morrisett in a 2019 interview with American University Radio said as the show at the time was celebrating its 50th anniversary. “And, of course, the Muppets were different colors, different shapes, and different sizes. And, that was purposely put in to show kids that they could be friends with people who weren’t like them.”
Morrisett served as the chairman of the board of trustees for Sesame Workshop which of course oversees Sesame Street from 1968 up until 2000 before he was named a Lifetime Honorary Trustee.
Sesame Workshop’s Tweet in Regards to the News
“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 Sesame Workshop on Twitter said in a statement.
Sesame Street Became the First TV Program to Receive the Kennedy Center Honors
The show which the co-creator helped to create then went on to become one of the longest-running shows in the globe and in the process attracting millions of viewers every week in over 150 countries. And over its five-plus decade run, the show has won 216 Emmys and 11 Grammys, and the show in 2019 became the first TV program to receive the Kennedy Center Honors.
Morrisett and Cooney both accepted the recognition and they were accompanied by Elmo, Big Bird, and Abby Cadabby.