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  • Brendan Birth

Gray Panthers FAQs: Why Do We Talk So Much About Maggie Kuhn?

Anyone who talks with any members of the Gray Panthers, current or former, will oftentimes hear about our founder, Maggie Kuhn. 

This may inevitably raise a question: Why do we talk so much about her?

Different Gray Panthers, both present and past, would have their own theories if asked this question. Here are my theories…

Some of it involves the fact that, to state the obvious, she was our founder. With any entity, organization, or group, the founder of it is oftentimes talked about a ton. And, with Gray Panthers, it just so happens to be the case that this founder who we talk so much about is our own Maggie Kuhn.

But she was more than our founder. She was an elder rights activist who got national attention for the issue of ageism in ways that few have before or since. In the process, she also got Gray Panthers national attention. Given that ageism is the biggest issue our organization focuses on (our organization was literally founded due to ageism, in the form of Maggie’s forced retirement at the age of 65), it therefore makes sense that we hold Maggie, who gave increased attention to the central issue of our organization, in such high regard.

Additionally, the continued attention on Maggie may also have something to do with how many of the issues that she focused on in her day are issues in our day as well. In addition to ageism, she also focused on issues of Social Security, income inequality, overreliance on the American military, and human rights. These, as well as the issue of ageism that we were founded on, remain issues today. Therefore, Maggie’s work and passions are as relevant as ever.

May we, and may others, carry on Maggie Kuhn’s work, the work of: “Combating ageism and achieving social justice through intergenerational collaboration and activism.” 


Jennifer Sanchez
Jennifer Sanchez
May 07

Thank you, Maggie and thank you Gray Panthers NYC for keeping her torch burning! 👵🧓✊✌

4 days ago
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