Expert’s CLU talk to dispel myths on aging
Writer is on a crusade to wake people up to ageism
Ashton Applewhite
Ashton Applewhite

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - An ageism expert and activist will dispel myths about late life in a talk at California Lutheran University.

Ashton Applewhite will present “This Chair Rocks: How Ageism Warps Our View of Long Life” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Samuelson Chapel. Part monologue, part consciousness-raiser, the fierce but funny talk is part of Applewhite’s self-proclaimed “crusade to get people of all ages to wake up to the ageism in and around us, cheer up, and push back.”

Applewhite is an expert on the social, psychological and medical barriers associated with aging. She started writing a blog on the subject in 2007 and is writing a book about people older than 80 in the workforce titled “Staying Vertical: Dispatches from the Old Old on Work and Happiness.”

Her first published work was a collection of jokes published under a pseudonym. The book was the best-selling paperback of 1982 and a series followed. The books were so popular that “Blanche Knott” made publishing history by being the first person to have four books on the New York Times bestseller list at the same time.

Her first serious work, “Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well,” was published by Harper Collins in 1997. Ms. Magazine called it “rocket fuel for launching new lives.”

Applewhite is on staff at the American Museum of Natural History, where her writings include educational materials for the PBS series “Our Genes, Our Choices.” She is a board member of the Council on Contemporary Families and runs its annual Media Awards for Outstanding Coverage of Family Issues. As a contributing editor of the International Electronic and Electrical Engineers’ magazine IEEE Spectrum, she has profiled innovative technologists and written feature articles on such topics as a village in Laos getting Internet access via a bicycle-powered computer.

Since she began writing about aging and ageism in 2007, Applewhite has been a Knight Fellow, a New York Times Fellow, an Age Boom Fellow at the Columbia University School of Journalism and an Information Society Project Fellow at Yale Law School.

Samuelson Chapel is located south of Olsen Road near Campus Drive on the Thousand Oaks campus.

CLU’s Center for Equality and Justice, office of Alumni and Parent Relations, and University Village Thousand Oaks are sponsoring the free event. For more information, contact the center at or 805-493-3694.