Joan Ganz Cooney

Cooney, Joan Ganz, 1929–, American television producer, b. Phoenix, Ariz. After graduating (1951) from the Univ. of Arizona, Cooney worked as a newspaper reporter and television publicist for ten years before becoming a producer at WNET, a public television station in New York City. There she developed the concepts for children's programming that led to the incorporation (1968) of the Children's Television Workshop (CTW; since 2000, Sesame Workshop); Cooney has been president since 1970. Through Sesame Street, Electric Company, and other innovative programs, CTW transformed children's television and learning. Cooney was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

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