John Saunders McConnell | 1915 - 2012 | Obituary

John Saunders McConnell
Share this obituary
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share in Email
Send condolences Express your condolences
John Saunders McConnell

Born: March 22, 1915
Died: October 20, 2012

McConnell, John
Founder of Earth Day
"Peace, Justice and the Care of Earth."  McConnell, 97, died peacefully on October 20, 2012.  Memorial Service will be Friday, Nov. 2 at 10:30 am at St. John's Lutheran Church, 700 S. Franklin St., Wash Park, Denver.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests you please consider a donation to Shevet Achim (, a non-profit in Jerusalem which brings Jews, Muslims, and Christians together in order to give life saving surgery to save children's lives.  John McConnell is survived by his wife, Anna McConnell, his son, Cary McConnell, and two daughters, Christa Mason and Corenella Keiper.

"Son of an evangelist, John McConnell has advocated tirelessly for global peace, and care of the Earth.  People all over the globe have responded to his appeals for peace, justice, and Earth care, and to be counted as Earth Trustees.

Following the Kennedy assassination, McConnell's Minute for Peace gained worldwide attention.  This led to his Earth Day and other initiatives aimed at promoting people and planet.  In this book, he shares the views that garnered support during the environmental movement from 1969 onward, and that have inspired followers for forty years at annual Earth Day ceremonies at the UN and cities across the globe.

John McConnell coined the term Earth Day in 1968, proposed its celebration on the spring equinox to the City of San Francisco in October 1969, and announced it in November at a UNESCO Conference.  The City responded by hosting the first Earth Day on March 21, 1970.  Margaret Mead, UN Secretary-General U Thant, President Ford, and thirty-three Nobel laureates supported McConnell's Earth Day, and thirty-six worldwide dignitaries signed McConnell's Earth Day Proclamation, supporting Earth Day on the spring equinox, an annual planetary holiday linking people everywhere without regard to politics, culture, national border, or religion." 1
"John McConnell initiated:  Star of Hope (1957), Minute for Peace (1963), Earth Flag (1969), Earth Day (1970), Earth Trustees (1971), Earth Society Foundation (1976), Earth Charter (1979), Earth Magna Charta (1995).

John McConnell is one of the world's spiritual leaders who had a profound influence on the United Nations. -- Kurt Waldheim, former United Nations Secretary-General

John McConnell gave me courage and hope.  -- Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Laureate

With John McConnell's Earth Flag on board my spaceship, I felt like a messenger of peace.  -- Anatoly Berezovoi, cosmonaut

John McConnell is an idealist, a visionary, a peacemaker.  Those are the people needed today, for our future.  -- George Gallup, Jr., pollster" 2 

1 Quote from "Earth Day - Vision for Peace, Justice, and Earth Care:  My Life and Thought at age 96" by John McConnell, Edited by John Munday.  Used with permission
2 Quotes from "Peace, Justice and the Care of Earth:  The Vision of John McConnell Founder of Earth Day" by Robert M. Weir.  Used with permission.  

Send Private Condolences

Send Sympathy Card

Print Obituary View/Sign Guest Book

Create Memorial Website