Remembrance and a celebration of life for Yale Sterling Professor Ed Zigler (1930–2019)
ECPC founding member Dr. James F. Leckman commemorates his mentor, colleague, and friend, the late Dr. Ed Zigler, on the occasion of the Yale video premiere of “A Tribute to Edward Zigler 1930–2019: The man, his work, his legacy”.
Family, former students, colleagues, and associates tell the compelling life story of Yale Sterling Professor Ed Zigler in a video documentary that premiered on September 13, 2022, at the Child Study Center at Yale University.
The film was presented to the live audience by Yale President Peter Salovey, Child Study Center Director Linda Mayes, and Director of the Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy Walter Gilliam. Each remarked on the life of Zigler, widely known as the “Father of Head Start”, a notable clinical psychologist and trailblazer in early childhood development, developmental science, and social policy, as well as a champion of children’s rights.
My remembrance of Ed Zigler
by James F. Leckman, MD, PhD
Development and Psychopathology, published in September of 2020 …
Twenty-five authors from across the globe, all of whom have contributed to the efforts of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium, honor the late Edward Zigler, founder of Head Start and trailblazer in early childhood development, developmental science, and social policy, in this special journal issue.
►READ journal article Pathways to a more peaceful and sustainable world: The transformative power of children in families, Development and Psychopathology.
►READ A giant in his field: A global tribute to the life and legacy of child welfare pioneer, Edward Zigler, ECPC News on Medium.
This article provides an overview of a number of ongoing international efforts that have been inspired by Edward Zigler’’s vision to improve programs and policies for young children and families.
The efforts presented in this article are in close alignment with three strategies articulated by Edward Zigler:
- Conduct research that will inform policy advocacy
- Design, implement, and revise high-quality early childhood development programs
- Invest in building the next generation of scholars and advocates in child development
The intergenerational legacy left by Edward Zigler has had an impact on young children not only in the United States but also across the globe. More needs to be done. We need to work together with a full commitment to ensure the optimal development of each child.
Thoughts of Ed’s early childhood — growing up in poverty but being resilient, thanks in part to the determined efforts of his parents and his early caretakers.
President of Yale University — who was also a student of Ed’s — and to Walter Gilliam, who like Peter Salovey was a student of Ed’s and who now directs the Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, let me read just a few quotes of Ed’s:
Be totally committed to the optimal development of each child.
Good parenting benefits the community, as well as the kids.
It is the environment that determines a considerable part of the growth and development of children.
My only agenda, the one that has guided me throughout my career, is to serve the best interests of children and families.
I believe officials have listened to me over the years because they see me as a scholar, not as an advocate who has some other agenda.
Edward Zigler received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1958. He joined the psychology department at Yale in 1959 and also served on the faculty of Yale’s Child Study Center. He founded and was Director Emeritus of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, one of the first centers in the nation to combine training in developmental science and social policy construction. He was Sterling Professor of Psychology, Emeritus, but remained active in his scholarly and social policy endeavors. Read Dr. Zigler’s complete biography.
James F. Leckman, M.D., Ph.D., is the Neison Harris Professor of Child Psychiatry, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, and Psychology at Yale University. For more than 20 years he served as the Director of Research for the Yale Child Study Center. His peers have regularly selected him as one of the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Leckman is the author or co-author of over 450 original scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Read more.
About the Early Childhood Peace Consortium (ECPC)
Where all children are the stars of today and leaders of tomorrow!
The ECPC is a global movement of United Nations agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, academia, practitioners, and the private sector focused on sharing scientific and practice-based evidence on how investment in early childhood development (ECD) can contribute to sustainable peace, social cohesion, and social justice. We recognize that investing in ECD is a powerful and cost-effective strategy for reducing violence, poverty, and exclusion and for building peaceful societies.