Audio: Who was Claude Pepper?
Born on an Alabama farm in 1900, Claude Pepper became our nation’s most prominent advocate for older Americans. For over 40 years, first as a U.S. Senator from Florida and then as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he staunchly defended two programs essential to older Americans. Pepper fought to strengthen Medicare by expanding its coverage to include home healthcare for short-term conditions, and he protected Social Security benefits when they were threatened with major cuts.
Senator Pepper’s efforts to improve older adults’ lives went beyond even these successes. He sponsored legislation making mandatory retirement virtually illegal. He ensured that the Older Americans Act expanded services allowing older adults to remain in their communities, andd he established Alzheimer’s Research and Care Centers across the nation.
Senator Pepper’s influence endures at FSU’s Pepper Institute and Center, where researchers examine critical issues facing our aging nation – and seek solutions that honor his legacy of fighting for the dignity of older Americans.