Earth Day founder Nelson dies at 89

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, died Sunday in Kensington, Maryland, of cardiovascular failure. Nelson, who was 89, was also a governor and senator from the U.S. state of Wisconsin. He created the concept of an annual recognition of environmental causes at a speech in Seattle in September 1969, and the first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. In 1995, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his environmental efforts by U.S. President Bill Clinton.