Dr. Edmund Gordon, who is 100 years old, is widely regarded as the premier Black psychologist of his generation. He has devoted much of his life to working to narrow the achievement gap between white and Black children.
His list of accomplishments is long and includes his work in founding the Head Start program, which he undertook in 1956 when President Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned Dr. Gordon to help design the Head Start program.
The program’s goal was to provide early childhood education and family services to families in need. Dr. Gordon and his team more than met that goal – they built a program that today serves nearly 1 million children.
And his impact goes beyond Head Start.
His research was used to prove to the Supreme Court that school segregation harmed children. Dr. Gordon is the author of more than 200 articles and 18 books, and he’s an emeritus professor at two Ivy League schools — Yale University and Teachers College at Columbia.
In an interview with the Washington Post before his 100th birthday in June of 2021, the reporter asked this question: If you could do one thing in terms of education policy, what would it be?
“We built Head Start to compensate for those things that were not happening at home,” Dr. Gordon answered. “I would greatly enrich the school’s capacity to compensate for what should have been happening at home.”
Thank you for all you’ve done, Dr. Gordon.