In Memoriam: The Passing of Arnold Scaasi
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of our renowned board member, Arnold Scaasi, who passed away on Tuesday, August 4th in New York City. He was 85.
Scaasi was a Canadian fashion designer known for his elaborate and lively designs. Over his 50-year career, he adorned generations of First Ladies, starlets and socialites that included Joan Crawford, Mary Tyler Moore, Lauren Bacall, Brooke Astor, Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand; for whom he designed the famous jumpsuit she wore when she accepted the 1969 Oscar for Funny Girl.
As many of our friends know, Arnold was also an iconic leader of the literacy world. He served on our Board of Directors for 23 years and co-hosted the Evening of Readings and Gala Dinner Dance with his partner of more than 50 years, Parker Ladd, and dear friend, Liz Smith.
He called the rich and famous to ask for their support on behalf of our students. His commitment to the cause enabled tens of thousands of New Yorkers to learn to read as adults, attain High School Equivalency diplomas and gain access to college, higher-level jobs and the world at large.
Arnold Scaasi was a man of big ideas with a big personality. He had a huge impact on the world of fashion and changed so many lives for the better through his work in literacy.