Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, is saddened to announce that the company’s founder, Robert A. Lemire died on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Lemire was eighty-nine and passed away following a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Lemire created Lexia Learning in 1984 after watching his son struggle to learn to read. Lemire received guidance from his friend, Dr. Edwin Cole, a noted neurologist, head of the Reading Clinic at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the founder of several schools for students with dyslexia like his son. Lemire realized that many other children had reading difficulties and most of them did not have the resources that his family did.
Together with neighbor Dr. Littleton Meeks, an expert in technology, Lemire and Dr. Cole decided to create a company that would use computer technology to help students receive the explicit, systematic, and personalized instruction they needed to become successful readers and confident learners. In 1992, Lexia expanded its mission to serve not only readers with dyslexia but all readers from beginners and inclusive of struggling readers. Today, the company serves more than 5.5 million students across more than 3,300 school districts in all 50 states and territories.
Before founding Lexia, Lemire ran his own one-person investment-advisory firm, Lemire and Co., which he started in the mid-1970s. This instinct for entrepreneurship first manifested while Lemire worked in corporate underwriting at Paine, Webber, Jackson, & Curtis when he and Howard Reynolds ran a nightly radio show called Spotlight on Business. After receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1958, Lemire started his business career by writing case studies for a Boston consulting firm.
Lemire also served as a leader and educator for several environmental causes. He was chair of the Lincoln Conservation Committee in Massachusetts from 1966 to 1981. He taught communities across the country to cluster new developments and save open space. He also taught these principles at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and the Conway School of Landscape Design. Lemire was also a consultant for the Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Foundation, and other national organizations.
In 1979, he published a book “Creative Land Development: Bridge to the Future” through Houghton Mifflin and his seminal work, “Teach Me to Read: The Early History of Lexia Learning Systems, the Mission, and the Boy Who Inspired it All” in 2014.
In 1972, the Massachusetts Audubon Society awarded Lemire its Action Award. Governor Michael Dukakis appointed him to the Massachusetts Agricultural Preservation Commission and to the Citizens Water Supply Committee, where Lemire served as a member of the executive committee for several years.
“Even right out of college, Bob exemplified service and leadership by serving as a junior officer in the Navy,” Lexia Learning President, Nick Gaehde said. “By living his life by these principles, Bob has left an indelible mark on communities throughout America and on us at Lexia. We are committed to maintaining those principles as part of his legacy and to carrying his mission forward by making the power of literacy education accessible to all.”