In Memoriam: Lawrence K. Grossman (1931-2018)

It is with a heavy heart that I share that Larry Grossman, one of Digital Promise’s founders and Board members, has passed. We owe much of our existence to Mr. Grossman. He was a true visionary and embodied our mission to spur innovation in education and improve the opportunity to learn for ALL through technology and research.

I met Mr. Grossman in 2010 soon after I began my post at the U.S. Department of Education. He, along with his colleague Anne Murphy (1938-2013), were intent on seeing the launch of Digital Promise, which had been authorized by Congress as the National Center for Research in Advanced Information and Digital Technology in the 2008 Higher Education Act.

For close to a dozen years, Mr. Grossman and his colleagues had envisioned and then campaigned to pursue the vision outlined in the report “A Digital Gift to the Nation: Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital and Internet Age.” With an initial Board of Directors recommended by Members of Congress and appointed by then-U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama formally launched Digital Promise in September 2011. Start-up support came from the U.S. Department of Education and the Carnegie Corporation of New York with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joining soon after.

Digital Promise would not have come to fruition without Mr. Grossman’s vision, born of a lifelong career in media, both as President of PBS and then NBC News. We are forever grateful for his tenacity and unwavering support and will carry forward his vision, seeking to fulfill the Promise and ensure that ALL Americans have the opportunity to gain access to lifelong learning and career opportunities supported by technology and research.

We will deeply miss his wisdom, passion and advocacy. His obituary was published in the Washington Post. I also encourage you to read his speech to the National Coalition of Independent Scholars in 2015, “A Personal Journey Through the New Digital Media Landscape.

Our sympathies to Mr. Grossman’s wife, and surviving children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

With deep gratitude,

Karen Cator,
CEO and President
Digital Promise

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