Born in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A., 30 November 1929. Educated at the University of Arizona, B.A. 1951.
Married 1) Timothy J. Cooney, 1964 (divorced, 1975); 2) Peter G. Peterson, 1980.
Reporter, Arizona Republic, Phoenix, 1953-54; publicist, NBC, 1954-55; publicist,U.S. Steel Hour, 1955-62; producer, Channel 13, New York City, 1962-67; TV consultant Carnegie Corporation, New York City, 1967-68; executive director, Children's Television Workshop (producers of Sesame Street, Electric Company, 321 Contact, Square One TV, and Ghostwriter), New York City, 1968-70, president and trustee, 1970-88, chair and chief executive officer, 1988-90, chair, executive committee, since 1990; director, Johnson & Johnson, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Trustee: Channel 13/Educational Broadcasting Corporation; Museum of Television & Radio; Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Member: President's Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, 1971-73; National News Council, 1973-81; Council Foreign Relations, since 1974; Advance Committee for Trade Negotiations, 1978-80; Governor's Commission on International Year of the Child, 1979; President's Commission for Agenda for the 1980s, 1980-81; Carnegie Foundation National Panel on High Schools, 1980-82; National Organization of Women (NOW), National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, National Institute Social Sciences, International Radio and TV Society, American Women in Radio and TV.
Recipient: National Institute for Social Sciences Gold Medal, 1971; Frederick Douglass Award, New York Urban League, 1972; Silver Satellite Award, American Women in Radio and TV; Woman of the Decade Award, 1979; National Endowment for the Arts, Friends of Education Award; Kiwanis Decency Award; National Association of Educational Broadcasters Distinguished Service Award; Stephen S. Wise Award, 1981; Harris Foundation Award, 1982; Emmy Award, for Lifetime Achievement, 1989; named to Hall of Fame Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, 1989; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1995.