Charles Cogen, the first president of the United Federation of Teachers in New York City and later the president of the UFT's parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, died Feb. 18 at the age of 94.
Mr. Cogen was one of the original faculty members at the Bronx High School of Science. In 1959, he became the president of the 2,000-member Teachers Guild, one of more than 100 groups representing New York City teachers. In 1960, the guild merged with the High School Teachers Association to form the UFT, with Mr. Cogen as president. That same year, he led New York City teachers on a landmark strike to win collective bargaining rights. Mr. Cogen assumed the presidency of the national union in 1964, retiring in 1968.
Abraham A. Ribicoff, a former U.S. secretary of health, education, and welfare, U.S. senator, and governor of Connecticut, died Feb. 22. He was 87.
The lifelong Democrat served as a state lawmaker and congressman before becoming governor in 1955. In 1961, he joined the Kennedy administration as HEW secretary. His department included the U.S. Office of Education.
As a three-term member of the Senate, first elected in 1962, he was noted for his support of integrating public schools.
Douglas F. Bodwell, a public-broadcasting executive who helped acquire funding for 22 school television series, including the Emmy Award winners "Reading Rainbow," "3-2-1 Contact," and "Square One TV," died Feb. 16.
As the director of education at the Washington-based Corporation for Public Broadcasting from 1974 until his death at age 55, Mr. Bodwell also organized the CPB's participation in a five-year outreach project to encourage adults to learn to read.
He helped initiate the Adult Learning Service of the Public Broadcasting Service; Learning Link, a computer network for public broadcasting stations and schools; and the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium, a 23-state distance education partnership.
P. Alistair MacKinnon, a longtime Washington lobbyist for the New York Department of Education, died Feb. 14. He was 65.
Mr. MacKinnon retired from his position as the agency's federal education legislation coordinator last year. Among other positions he held before joining the state education department in 1969, Mr. MacKinnon worked in the U.S. Office of Education, where he helped craft the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act.