James J. Gallagher, child development expert, dies at 87

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James J. Gallagher, an authority on child development whose work expanded educational opportunities for disabled and gifted children nationwide, died Jan. 17 at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C. He was 87.

The death was announced by the University of North Carolina. At his death, Dr. Gallagher was a senior scientist emeritus at the university’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

For decades, Dr. Gallagher straddled the terrain where childhood education and public policy intersect, lecturing widely, holding posts in the federal government and working in academe.

He was known in particular as the chief architect of the Individualized Education Program, commonly called IEP. Inaugurated in the 1970s and used in schools throughout the country, the program centers on instruction tailored to the individual needs of physically and learning-disabled students.

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