Elisabeth Irwin Dies

Elisabeth Irwin dies on October 16, 1942 at New York Hospital.

Of the scores of remembrances of her work as a progressive reformer, perhaps one by her great friend and leading educational pioneer of her age, Lucy Sprague Mitchell, captured Elisabeth Irwin’s importance best.

“I have seen Elisabeth Irwin by her own vigorous attack on life bring more vigor to more individuals and to more groups of people than I can name,” Mitchell wrote. More than just the founder of a famous school, Irwin was, for Mitchell, a person who exerted a “dynamic, liberating influence” on educators and schools around the nation. “All of us who for the last thirty years have been engaged in the complex task of working out democratic techniques in homes, in unions, in a wide variety of organizational backgrounds are better functioning people because of Elisabeth Irwin.”

Read Elisabeth Irwin’s New York Time obituary here.

Read an essay by a high school student about hearing of Elisabeth Irwin’s death here.