By Jennifer Maas
Updated April 09, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Credit: PBS/Sesame Street

Lisa Simon, a woman who was part of the children’s program Sesame Street from its inception, died in New York City on April 4 on her 64th birthday. Jodi Lefkowitz of the New York-based Sesame Workshop confirmed to EW.

The longtime producer and director won 20 Daytime Emmys over her 40 year career. Her time at Sesame Street began during its early days with a summer job, after which she stayed on permanently, all while taking night classes at Hunter College to finish her B.A. in communications.

She was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program for Don’t Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a one-hour special that aired on PBS in 1983.

She also produced several Sesame Street home videos including Elmocize, Zoe’s Dance Moves and Big Bird Sings! Apart from Sesame Street, Simon produced and directed the children’s programs Between the Lions, Big Bag, Bear in the Big Blue House, Oobi and Wonder Pets!

Simon’s volunteer work included setting up a tour of Sesame Street performers to visit those children and families affected by Hurricane Katrina and leading a relief team in Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami.

Simon recently consulted on the new Sesame Street co-production planned for Abu Dhabi.