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Tribute to a Giant

99 years old and a trailblazer, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton passed away at home just two months shy of his 100th birthday. A giant in the field of early childhood development, he devoted his life to studying, nurturing and advocating on behalf of babies, toddlers and their families.


Among his many accomplishments, Berry was a founder of the National Center for Clinical Infant Programs, later renamed ZERO TO THREE, where he also later served as Board President. “He was the father of developmental pediatrics, a rigorous researcher, and an unflinching advocate for public policies to address the real needs of babies, toddlers and their families,” said Matthew Melmed, executive director for ZERO TO THREE.

Behind all the achievements and accolades, Dr. Brazelton was simply a great man, with a warm and loving spirit. He was cited in numerous publications and educational television programs for parents, all of which earned him the title, “America’s Pediatrician.” He genuinely cared about the human condition. His innate sense of connecting helped create an immediate bond with any baby, parent or caregiver he met. “He touched our souls while he helped us all be better parents and people,” said Melmed.

ZERO TO THREE was proud to present him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.

Dr. Brazelton was a Professor of Pediatrics, Emeritus of Harvard Medical School, and a Visiting Scholar at the Child Study Center at Brown University. He also founded the Brazelton Touchpoints Center at Boston Children’s Hospital in 1993 to mobilize communities around children and families in order to bring relationships back into healthcare and to transform child care into family care. One of his most notable achievements in pediatrics is his Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), an evaluation tool used worldwide to assess not only the physical and neurological responses of newborns, but also their emotional well-being and individual differences.

The author of more than 200 scientific papers and chapters, and 40 books, Dr. Brazelton is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on pediatrics and child development. As a parent advocate, he frequently appeared before Congressional committees in support of parental and medical leave bills and was appointed to the National Commission on Children in 1989. In 2000, he was honored as a Living Legend by the United States Library of Congress.





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