Graduates of P.S. 121 in New York City surround entrepreneur, government adviser, and philanthropist Eugene M. Lang in October 1985. Lang’s impulsive promise to an East Harlem 6th grade class that he would help pay for their college education inspired a foundation, led to support for more than 16,000 children nationwide, and made him into something of an American folk hero.
He died April 8, at the age of 98.
A version of this article appeared in the April 19, 2017 edition of Education Week as Obituary