Biography: Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

The San Antonio, Texas, native studied art history at Wellesley College and earned a master’s in city planning from Yale. A New York City resident since the 1960s, Rogers wrote books on the city’s ecology and the landscape designs of Frederick Law Olmsted before directing the Central Park Task Force in the mid-1970s. In 1979, Rogers was appointed to the newly created position of Central Park Administrator by Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis and in 1980 became founding president of the Central Park Conservancy. She held both positions until 1996. She oversaw the restoration of Central Park and steered the Central Park Conservancy through its transition from a small staff coordinating the efforts of volunteers and interns to a professional organization numbering in the hundreds.