Frances Partridge Connor, an influential figure across many aspects of special education, passed away 28 March 2015 in Boca Raton, FL. She was the Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Education at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York (NY, US).
For many decades, Professor Connor affected the practice and policy of special education. She not only chaired the special education program at Teachers College, but also served as president of the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). In addition, she advised local, state, federal, and international government agencies about educational policies related to children and youths with disabilties. She was also a member of multiple research teams focused on improving the tools of teachers and methods for advancing outcomes for children with disabilties.
Profssor Connor earned her A.B. at St. Joseph’s University in 1940, and her A.M. (1948) and Ed.D. (1953) at Columbia. She was known for publications such as Children With Crippling Conditions And Special Health Problems, Teaching the Slow Learner in the Special School, An Experimental Curriculum For Young Mentally Retarded Children, Leadership Preparation For Educators Of Crippled And Other Health Impaired-Multiply Handicapped Populations: Report of a Special Study Institute, and many more publications. She also was responsible for many funded projects including doctoral training programs that helped support some of the most influential individuals in the history of special eduation. Professor Connor was the recipient of many awards including the J. E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award from the CEC.
Professor Connor was the spouse of Leo E. Connor. They are survived by no children, but there are many neices and nephews.
Update: On 3 June 2015, Columbia’s Teacher College published a tribute to Professor Connor.