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The American Association of Retired Persons (now known as AARP) is founded by a retired high school principal, Ethel Percy Andrus, PhD. Its four official goals are to (1) enhance the quality of life for older persons; (2) promote independence, dignity and purpose for older persons; (3) lead in determining the role and place of older persons in society; and (4) improve the image of aging.

The AARP Health Insurance Plan changes the marketplace by providing the first group health insurance plan for people over 65.


The AARP Drug Buying Service begins providing a unique service: filling prescriptions by mail order, as well as on site. It introduces an element of competition and price relief into the U.S. pharmaceutical market.


An innovative universal-design home, the House of Freedom, is built by AARP in Washington, D.C. to showcase options for style and safety to delegates to the first White House Conference on Aging. Features include grab bars in bathrooms, non-skid floors and no-step entries.


The AARP Institute of Lifetime Learning begins providing educational programs for older persons. It plays a major role in a national revolution in attitudes: that learning can and should be a lifetime experience.


AARP’s pavilion at the New York World’s Fair promotes the Association’s vision of Dynamic Maturity.


With strong backing from AARP, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is signed into law, preventing age-based discrimination against persons age 40–65.


Tax-Aide, one of the AARP’s most extensive charitable programs, begins modestly. Today, 35,000 IRS-certified volunteers with AARP Foundation Tax-Aide help more than 2.5 million older Americans to file tax forms and claim eligible deductions every year. 


The Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center opens at the University of Southern California, and in 1975 houses the world’s first school of gerontology. 


AARP launches Legal Counsel for the Elderly, a pilot legal service project serving older residents of Washington, D.C. It handles legal cases, offers a legal advice hotline, and serves as the District’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman. 


AARP's new 55 Alive program helps older drivers stay independent, safe and confident while on the road. Now called Driver Safety, it is the nation’s largest classroom/online driver safety course designed especially for drivers age 50 and older.


Membership age for AARP drops from 55 to 50.


AARP Public Policy Institute is established to conduct research and provide objective analysis of information, legislation and trends that affect people as they age.


A nonpartisan voter education program, AARP/ VOTE, is established to help 50+ voters make informed decisions about issues and candidates for public office.


AARP introduces AARP Works, a series of career-development and job-search workshops for midlife and older persons. Today, AARP offers resources to experienced workers through our Work & Jobs portal.


AARP and the FBI team up to bust telemarketing scams that prey on older people. Through Operation Senior Sentinel, AARP volunteers pose as unwitting sting victims, enabling federal investigators to bring indictments against approximately 1,000 fraudulent telemarketers. 


AARP launches its website,


The American Association of Retired Persons officially changes its name to AARP, in recognition of the fact that many members continue to work full or part time.


AARP opens an office in Puerto Rico, reaching its goal of maintaining a staffed office in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. State offices help AARP to engage and serve our members and others on the local level in their communities. 

AARP creates “Movies for Grownups” to celebrate films that feature actors and directors age 50-plus or plot themes that speak to grownup audiences. 


With AARP’s support, Congress creates a prescription drug benefit in Medicare.


The Voices of Civil Rights bus tour is co-sponsored by AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and the U.S. Library of Congress. The Library of Congress archives the oral histories collected during the journey.


AARP’s strong advocacy helps defeat proposals to carve private accounts out of Social Security.


AARP launches Create The Good to connect people with meaningful opportunities to volunteer in their communities. 


In collaboration with four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Jeff Gordon and team owner Rick Hendrick, AARP and AARP Foundation launch Drive to End Hunger to fight hunger among older adults in America. 


To support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers, AARP launches the online Caregiving Resource Center, promoted in part by a far-reaching Ad Council campaign.  


Building on decades of consumer protection efforts, AARP launches the Fraud Watch Network to help people of all ages spot, report, and avoid scams and identity theft.


AARP TEK (Technology Education and Knowledge) takes off, providing hands-on workshops to help people 50+ use technology and grow their digital skills. Now known as AARP Academy, it is a hub for learning about technology and social media, work and jobs, family caregiving and more.


AARP and J.P. Morgan Asset Management form the AARP Innovation Fund, which makes direct investments in early- to late-stage companies developing innovative products that can improve the lives of people age 50-plus. 

AARP introduces Disrupt Aging, a mindset and movement to challenge outdated beliefs and spark new solutions so more people can choose how they live and age.

The Global Council on Brain Health was launched in 2015 by AARP in collaboration with Age UK. 


AARP advocacy victories in state legislatures include laws and regulations to support 27 million family caregivers and securing retirement savings options for more than 10 million small-business employees via “Work and Save” laws.