Statement on Passing of Dr. Robert Cooke

Dr. Robert Cooke with a patient in 1982.

Dr. Robert Cooke with a patient in 1982.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday, February 2, 2014, Dr. Robert Cooke, a pediatrician who worked with Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to create Head Start, died at age 93. The following statement should be attributed to Yasmina Vinci, executive director of the National Head Start Association:

“Robert Cooke was a great visionary whose lifetime of advocacy and tireless efforts molded Head Start into the nation’s preeminent early childhood education program. Dr. Cooke’s life is a moving reminder that Head Start was and continues to be an intentional national commitment to our most vulnerable children. From the beginning, Dr. Cooke’s work on a team of America’s best and brightest cross-disciplinary minds—pediatricians, psychologists, sociologists, child development and education experts—was anchored by a profound belief that Head Start would be game-changer in the lives of poor children and families. Dr. Cooke’s vision continues to inspire and fortify the Head Start community.”

About NHSA

The National Head Start Association is committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff and 1,600 Head Start grant recipients in the United States. ••• Media Contact: Emily Wagner, Director of Communications, media@nhsa.org

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