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, helped to launch the group, which is one of the leading environmental groups in the world, from his Long Island, N.Y. living room in 1967.
EDF now has over 2.5 million members and close to 1,000 employees, from New York to London down to Beijing.
According to Jonathan, Cooley, Cooley, he died Sunday in Colorado from natural causes.
Cooley was a high-school teacher who was involved in organizing to stop the use of DDT. This toxin was threatening the survival of birds like the osprey and bald eagle. 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. He was born and raised on Long Island. Later, he moved to La Jolla, California.
Fred Krupp, EDF’s long-standing president, said that Art had a warmth, charisma, and helped bring people together in common cause. “All of us who carry the EDF torch… knowing Art will be one of the greatest satisfactions of our lives.
Cooley and associates used science to challenge industrial groups in court. This helped establish the right of ordinary citizens, EDF said in statement.
Charles Wurster is now the last remaining co-founder of the group after Cooley’s passing. Dennis Puleston was another co-founder who died in 2001.
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