Originally posted on TED Blog:
The TED community was deeply saddened to hear that Rita Pierson, whose powerful, funny, heartfelt talk kicked off TED Talks Education just a few months ago, died today in Texas, at age 61.
It was truly an honor to help share her message with the world. Hers is truly an idea worth spreading: that every child, rich or poor, deserves a champion. We asked TED TV producer Juliet Blake, who cast Pierson for our PBS special, to share a few words about this woman who became a friend to so many of us here. Here’s what Blake wrote, in Pierson’s honor:
I searched for someone with heart and humor for our TED Talks Education TV show and, when I saw Rita Pierson on YouTube, I knew I had found her. But I hadn’t found her; it took a good few weeks to track her down. I called various schools in Texas and I waited and waited.