According to the group's official history, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus founded AARP in 1958. AARP evolved from the National Retired Teachers Association (NRTA), which Andrus had established in 1947 to promote her philosophy of productive aging, and in response to the need of health insurance for retired teachers.
After ten years, Andrus opened the organization to all Americans over 50, creating AARP. Approximately seven million people have AARP branded health insurance, including drug coverage and Medigap, as of April 2007 and AARP earns more income from selling insurance to members than it does from membership dues.
The AARP Foundation is AARP's affiliated charity dedicated to serving vulnerable people 50+ by creating solutions that help them secure the essentials and achieve their best life. AARP subscribes to the Malcolm Baldridge definition of diversity, which refers to valuing and benefiting from personal differences. These differences address many variables; including race, religion, color, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age and generational preferences, education, geographic origin, and skill characteristics; as well as differences in ideas, thinking, academic disciplines, and perspectives.
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