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A Tribute to Ellen Kingsley

The ADHD community bids farewell to national consumer advocate and founder of ADDitude, Ellen Kingsley.

by ADDitude Editors

ADDitude’s extraordinarily talented and caring founder, Ellen Kingsley, died at her home in Houston on March 8, after a courageous 20 year fight against cancer. A respected national consumer advocate with a passion for helping others, Kingsley won more than 50 awards during her career as a television journalist, including six Emmys and four National Press Club Consumer Journalism Awards.

After one of her sons was diagnosed with severe ADHD, Kingsley left her television career to research treatments and approaches that would help him. Finding little parent-friendly, practical information, Kingsley created the ADDitude website in 1998 to fill the gap and share what she learned with other families struggling with ADHD. A MacArthur Foundation grant in 1999 recognized her work and enabled Kingsley to launch ADDitude magazine the next year.

Kingsley clearly and beautifully articulated her vision for ADDitude in her letter from the editor in the inaugural issue:

ADDitude is about compassion. I am the mother of an ADHD child whose courage and determination inspired me to start ADDitude.

ADDitude is about ending stigma. We will be a powerful, proud voice for people with ADHD. We will provide strong, positive role models who shatter negative stereotypes.

ADDitude is about fair, accurate journalism. You can count on our reporting to have integrity, to be factual and honest.

ADDitude is about good science. We have assembled a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of some of the nation’s leading ADHD experts.

ADDitude is about options. We will provide a range of points of view about everything, from education to interventions.

ADDitude is about respecting our readers. We will provide you the information you deserve. We invite reader ideas and input.

ADDitude is about empowering families challenged by ADHD. Our mission is provide the tools to help our readers take charge of their lives.

Ellen Kingsley touched many lives, and the outpouring of remembrances from the ADHD community has been tremendous.

Anne Teeter Ellison, president of CHADD, writes: “It is with great sorrow that we learn of the death of Ellen Kingsley, an award-winning journalist and leading advocate for people affected by ADHD. The work Ellen performed on behalf of people with ADHD lives on and generations of Americans will benefit from her innovative efforts.”

Larry Silver, M.D., chair of ADDitude’s Scientific Advisory Committee, writes: “Ellen was able to blend her outstanding journalism skills with her compassion for individuals with ADHD and their families. Her enthusiasm was contagious. I found myself looking forward to writing the next Healthy ADDitude column. I still do. I will miss this dear friend.”

Ellen Kingsley is survived by her husband, Robert Hirschfeld, her sons, Teddy and Andy, step-daughters, Julie and Sasha, her mother, and grandchildren. We wish to express our condolences to her family, and to reassure them — and you — that the mission that guided Ellen in founding ADDitude remains our inspiration as we move forward.

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