Sesame Street co-creator Lloyd Morrisett passes away at 93

Lloyd Morrisett, experimental psychologist and co-creator of Sesame Street, has died at 93. His death was announced on social media by Sesame Workshop (earlier called Children’s Television Workshop), the nonprofit organisation that Morrisett co-founded. A statement issued from the Twitter handle read, “Sesame Workshop mourns the passing of our esteemed and beloved co-founder Lloyd N. Morrisett, PhD, who died at the age of 93.” The cause of the death is not known yet. Born on November 2, 1929, in  Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Morrisett got the idea as Vice President at the Carnegie Corporation of New York while working on a research project on how television could be used to educate young children. 

Morrisett had been searching for ways to use the medium of television to help children in poverty and believed that educational programming could help bridge the gap in school readiness between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. He commissioned a study led by a team at the Stanford Research Institute, which found that children who watched educational TV programmes scored higher on achievement tests than those who did not. The study also found that the most effective programmes were those that used a “behavioural approach, in which children were actively engaged in learning through the use of repetition, reinforcement, and modelling. Based on this research, Morrisett proposed the development of an educational TV programme for children, which eventually became Sesame Street.

Sesame Street has been in existence since 1969. It is an educational programme geared towards children that combines live-action with animation and puppetry. It was deliberately kept fast-paced so as not to bore kids with low attention spans and employed humour, music, action, and an engaging visual style to keep its audiences hooked.

Sesame Street was created by the Children’s Television Workshop, now known as Sesame Workshop. The show has been a beloved part of many American childhoods, and has since become a nostalgic favourite among adults who grew up watching it. Sesame Street has also adapted to the changing times, constantly evolving to meet the needs of its audience and address important issues.