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NHSA: Head Start Community Mourns Passing of Pioneer Dr. Julius Richmond

WASHINGTON, July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The death of Dr. Julius Richmond, one of the founding fathers of Head Start, marks a sad day for all Americans who care about childhood education, health and family issues, according to the National Head Start Association (NHSA), the organization representing children, family, educators and others involved in America's first and most successful comprehensive early-childhood education program.

A statement issued today by NHSA Board Chairman Ron Herndon, who is also director of the Albina Head Start program (Portland, OR), reads as follows:

"Dr. Julius B. Richmond was a true American pioneer and hero.

As the first national director of what was then known as Project Head Start, Dr. Richmond made a positive change in the lives of millions of American children, their families and the communities in which they live.

The death of Dr. Richmond will be mourned by all Americans who care about early childhood education, health and family issues. This American pediatrician played a key role in facilitating the delivery of the federal Head Start program that has made an enormous difference in the lives of 25 million of America's poorest children and their families.

Dr. Richmond worked with Sargent Shriver at the Office of Economic Opportunity in 1964-1965 to launch Project Head Start. In just half a year, Julius Richmond and a team spread out across the nation were working to help bring about positive change in the lives of the first half a million children to benefit from the program.

A great deal of the success story of Head Start today is directly attributable to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Julius Richmond. The entire Head Start family joins together today in saluting his legacy and in honoring his memory."


The National Head Start Association ( is a private not-for-profit membership organization dedicated exclusively to meeting the needs of Head Start children and their families. It represents more than 1 million children, 200,000 staff and 2,600 Head Start programs in the United States. The Association provides support for the entire Head Start community by advocating for policies that strengthen services to Head Start children and their families; by providing extensive training and professional development to Head Start staff; and by developing and disseminating research, information, and resources that enrich Head Start program delivery.

SOURCE National Head Start Association, Alexandria, VA
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