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Art Cooley, cofounder and last known victim of the Environmental Defense Fund, is dead

Art Cooley, cofounder and last known victim of the Environmental Defense Fund, is dead

WASHINGTON (AP), Art Cooley, a long-standing activist who cofounded the Environmental Defense Fund over 50 years ago, has passed away. Cooley, 87 years old, was instrumental in the creation of the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the leading environmental organizations worldwide. He started the group from his Long Island, N.Y. living room in 1967.

EDF now boasts more than 2.5million members and nearly 1000 employees, from New York to London all the way to Beijing.

According to Jonathan, Cooley, Cooley, he died Sunday in Colorado from natural causes.

Cooley was a high school teacher in the mid-1960s. He was also one of many local activists who opposed the use of DDT, a pesticide that threatened the survival of birds such as the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and osprey. The legal battle resulted in DDT being banned in the United States and EDF being formed.

Cooley was involved for decades with the board of the organization, serving as its chairperson and secretary. Cooley was born on Long Island, and later moved to La Jolla (Calif.).

Fred Krupp, EDFs long-time president, said Art had a warmth that radiated through EDF board meetings. It helped bring people together for a common cause. Knowing Art will be a great joy for all of us who carry EDF’s torch.

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Cooley and associates used science to challenge industrial groups in court. This helped establish the right of ordinary citizens, EDF stated in an EDF statement.

Charles Wurster, Cooley’s last surviving cofounder, has died. Dennis Puleston, another co-founder, also died in 2001.

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