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Joan Ganz Cooney

  • Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona
  • Birthday: November 30

Joan Ganz Cooney is an American television producer.

She is one of the founders of Sesame Workshop (originally Children's Television Workshop), the organization famous for the creation of the children's television show Sesame Street, which was also co-created by her.

Joan Ganz Cooney is an American television producer.

She is one of the founders of Sesame Workshop (originally Children's Television Workshop), the organization famous for the creation of the children's television show Sesame Street, which was also co-created by her.

After working for the State Department in Washington, D.C. and as a journalist in Phoenix, she worked as a publicist for television and production companies in New York City. In 1961, she became interested in working for educational television, and became a documentary producer for New York's first educational TV station WNET (Channel 13). Many of the programs she produced won local Emmys.

In 1966, Cooney was chosen to oversee and direct the creation of what eventually became the children's television program Sesame Street, which premiered in 1969, and the CTW, the organization that oversaw its production. Cooney was named CTW's first executive director.

Cooney remained executive director of the CTW until 1990, when she became the chair of CTW's executive board. She served on several boards, was the trustees of many organizations, and received many awards and honorary degrees

Joan Ganz Cooney was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1989.

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Joan Ganz Cooney

Photo credit: 
STEPHEN CHERNIN/AP

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