In Memoriam: James D. Gates
James D. Gates, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) executive director for 31 years, passed away on October 10, 2019. Few served NCTM and the mathematics education community with such distinction and for as long as Jim. As executive director, he led the Council during the development of the original NCTM Standards in 1989 and the growth in membership that followed. He was recognized with the NCTM Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998.
Jim Gates was born in 1927 in East Cleveland, Ohio. His formal education included a bachelor’s degree from Hiram College, a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a doctor of education from George Washington University. He began his career as a high school mathematics teacher in 1951 in the Maple Heights City School District in Ohio and came to NCTM in 1961. He was NCTM executive director from 1964 until his retirement in 1995.
In addition to his leadership of NCTM and his extensive contributions to mathematics education, he was a leading figure in the creation and development of the Center for Educational Associations in Reston, Virginia. NCTM’s current headquarters, which is part of the Center for Educational Associations, was named the James D. Gates Building in his honor in 1993.