Andrus, Ethel Percy (1884–1967)

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Andrus, Ethel Percy (1884–1967)

American reformer and founder of the AARP. Born on September 21, 1884; died in Long Beach, California, in 1967; graduated from the University of Chicago, 1903; granted an M.A. (1926) and Ph.D. (1930) from the University of Southern California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Taught at Lewis Institute (1903–10), Abraham Lincoln High School in Los Angeles (1910–44).

In 1944, upon retiring from over 40 years as a teacher and public-school principal, Ethel Percy Andrus found, to her dismay, that her retirement pay was $60 a month. Working to improve the lot of teachers, she founded the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA) in 1947. In 1956, the group sponsored the first health-insurance plan for all people over 65, which led to Andrus' founding of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) two years later. In 1961, she was asked to join the national advisory committee for the White House Conference on Aging. She was also a founder and editor of Modern Maturity, the magazine of the AARP.

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