Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, the first woman high school principal in the state of California, knew that retired teachers were living on incredibly small pensions, often without any health insurance. In 1947, she founded the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA). But it wasn’t until 1956, after approaching more than 30 companies to offer health insurance to retired teachers, that she found one willing to take a chance on NRTA members. The organization then expanded its membership to all retirees and became AARP in 1958.
Dr. Andrus was a remarkable volunteer. Read her story.