Edward F. Zigler, an Architect of Head Start, Dies at 88

Edward F. Zigler, a psychologist who inside mid-1960s helped design Head Start, the vanguard federal government program for preschool children, died on Thursday at his home in North Haven, Conn. He was 88.

His death was confirmed by his son, Scott, who said the cause was complications of coronary artery disease.

Dr. Zigler was an early champion of guaranteed time off via work for completely new parents, the teaching of child-rearing skills to teenagers as well as the integration of health as well as social service programs as well as day care into neighborhood public school buildings.

yet he was probably best known among the architects of Head Start, which began as a summer program under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. More than 35 million children have been enrolled since 1965 inside program, which provides early education as well as medical services to about a million children under 5 years old annually as well as costs about $10 billion a year.

When of which was first proposed, the program had its critics, some of whom even called of which a Communist plot to take children via their parents as well as to destabilize the American family by encouraging women to work outside the home.

yet child care later became a necessity for more working parents. as well as research in child development, a discipline of which Dr. Zigler helped to validate, attributed improvements in educational achievement, physical as well as mental health, as well as even reduced delinquency to the Head Start as well as Early Head Start services.

“He had to genuinely fight to be taken seriously, yet he did, as well as of which’s made of which possible for the field to possess the credibility of which does today,” Ruby Takanishi, then president of the Foundation for Child Development, said in remarks when Dr. Zigler was honored by the American Psychological Association in 2003.

To Dr. Zigler, Head Start was not just another ivory-tower theory to be tested on the nation’s most vulnerable children. He had seen of which work in a settlement house in Kansas City, Mo., where he as well as his immigrant parents learned English as well as were given medical care, meals as well as social support.

“As the son of a non-English speaker, as well as having grown up in poverty,” Dr. Zigler said, “I’ve been able to exceed expectations as well as possibilities.”

In 1975, Dr. Zigler was chairman of a committee overseeing the resettlement of 3,000 infants as well as children evacuated during the fall of Saigon.

Edward Frank Zigler was born on March 1, 1930, in Kansas City, Mo. His parents, Frank Zigler as well as Gertrude (Gleitman) Zigler, were Jewish immigrants via Poland who sold fruit via a horse-drawn wagon. Ed helped.

A neighborhood social center also helped the family acclimate. Inspired by the late-19th-century settlement house product, volunteers would certainly live temporarily in poor urban communities as well as provide social services.

After graduating via a vocational high school as well as serving inside Army during the Korean War, Dr. Zigler earned a bachelor’s degree in 1954 via the University of Kansas City (right now the University of Missouri at Kansas City). Four years later he received a doctorate in clinical psychology via the University of Texas at Austin. He joined the Yale faculty as an assistant professor of psychology in 1959.

He married Bernice Gorelick in 1955. She died in 2017. In addition to their son, Perrin Scott Zigler, dean of the School of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he is usually survived by two granddaughters as well as a sister, Maurine Agron.

In 1976, Dr. Zigler was named a Sterling professor, Yale’s highest professorial honor. In 2005, Yale’s Bush Center for Child Development as well as Social Policy was renamed the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development as well as Social Policy. He served as director emeritus until his death.

The author or editor of 40 books, Dr. Zigler developed what was called the first parenting education program for teenagers inside nation’s public schools. He also established a replicable product called the School of the 21st Century to embed child care as well as some other social services into public school buildings.