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Oceanside teacher earns Purpose Prize

OCEANSIDE — John Corcoran, from Oceanside, is a 2013 Purpose Prize fellow, making him one of seven finalists for The Prize.Picture1 (4)

The Purpose Prize is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social entrepreneurs and other creative problem solvers in the second half of life.

Corcoran is the founder of the John Corcoran Foundation, and the author of “The Teacher Who Could Not Read.” Corcoran did not learn to read until the age of 48, after teaching high school for 17 years and running a successful real estate company. His foundation now provides tutoring and technology scholarships to low-income youth and adults struggling with basic literacy skills. Corcoran was named a fellow because of his innovative work as a literacy advocate aiming to eradicate illiteracy among children and adults throughout California

The Purpose Prize awards $100,000 to at least one individual in his or her encore career creating new ways to solve tough social problems. It is awarded by, a nonprofit that promotes encore careers — work that is both personally meaningful and serves the greater good.

“My lifelong struggle as an illiterate has fueled a passionate encore career to do my part in ensuring that every child and adult has the opportunity to learn to read. It is a great honor to be recognized by Purpose Prize and share this fellowship with such innovative and wise entrepreneurs,” Corcoran said.

A panel of 21 judges – leaders in business, politics, journalism and the nonprofit sector – chose the seven winners from a pool of more than 1,000 nominees. An awards ceremony will be held in December in San Francisco. For more information about The Purpose Prize, visit