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Joy Behar and Tony Danza Among AARP The Magazine's 2011 Inspire Award Honorees; Maya Angelou Receives AARP’s Top Honor

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AARP Media Relations,, 202-434-2560


WASHINGTON (November 18, 2010) — AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world’s largest-circulation magazine with more than 35 million readers, today announced the recipients of its ninth annual Inspire Awards. The Inspire Awards pay tribute to extraordinary people who inspire others to action through their innovative thinking, passion and perseverance. The 2011 honorees include Maya Angelou (Andrus Award Winner – AARP’s highest honor), Tony Danza (Motivating Students), Lisa Niemi Swayze (Searching for a Cure), Pedro José Greer Jr., M.D (Caring for the Poor), Joy Behar & Eve Behar Scotti (Tackling Heart Disease), Helene Gayle, M.D. (Fighting Global Poverty), Henry Winkler (Helping Stroke Victims), Sandy Chen Stokes (Breaking Cultural Taboos) and Elizabeth Warren (Fixing Finances).

AARP’s prestigious Andrus Award pays tribute to the legacy of AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. This national award recognizes an individual who, like AARP’s founder, has generated positive social change in the world and whose work and achievements reflect AARP’s vision of bringing lifetimes of experience and leadership to serve all generations.

“Maya Angelou is the epitome of service and inspiration and we are honored to have her accept the 2011 Andrus Award,” said A. Barry Rand, CEO of AARP. “Our founder Dr. Andrus was a dynamic woman who fought to enrich and improve the quality of life for older Americans. She lived by the philosophy: To serve, not to be served—and Maya is the perfect example of someone who has done just that. She remains the standard for selfless action to which we should all strive to achieve.”

Honorees are profiled in the January/February 2011 issue of AARP The Magazine, in homes beginning November 24th and available online now at The honorees will receive their awards at a private gala in Washington D.C. on December 9th, presented by Platinum sponsor VITAS Innovative Hospice Care® and hosted by renowned broadcast journalist Jane Pauley, AARP’s Ambassador of Your Life Calling.

“These ten compassionate, forward-thinking and daring individuals define inspiration,” said Nancy Graham, Vice President and Editor of AARP The Magazine. “Through their extraordinary contributions to society, this year’s Inspire Award honorees motivate our readers to get involved, give back, and make a difference in their own communities.”
Maya Angelou – AARP Andrus Award Winner
Maya Angelou is no stranger to adversity— after being sexually molested as a young child, she prevailed to become one of the most revered voices of the century. With a life full of extensive achievements as a poet, author, playwright and civil rights activist, Angelou is undoubtedly one of the most influential voices of our time and is still expanding her influence at age 82. Shedding 40 pounds in the past year, she shares her wisdom on nutritious food in her 31st book entitled, “Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart.” With predictable poignancy, she stresses the importance of love; “The only way we can heal and grow hearty is if we know love.”

Tony Danza – Motivating Students
Former “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” star Tony Danza shattered all skepticism about his teaching capacities at the Philadelphia high school where he taught 10th grade English for a year while filming the A&E documentary series “Teach: Tony Danza.” After winning over the school’s stern principal, Danza continues his career in public education. He returned to Philadelphia in October to promote the Obama administration’s TEACH initiative, which seeks to recruit gifted teachers. The actor, who is in the midst of writing a book about the experience, draws a passion for teaching from his mother. Said Danza, “My mother used to say every kid should have someone who is irrationally committed to their future.”

Joy Behar & Eve Behar Scotti – Fighting Heart Disease
A family history of cardiovascular problems motivated this mother-daughter duo to become advocates for heart health. As leaders of the Mom’s Second Chance campaign, Joy and Eve have teamed up with the nonprofit WomenHeart and the makers of Bayer Aspirin to encourage women to talk with their doctors now to be better prepared should a heart attack strike, and help increase their odds of surviving by keeping aspirin on hand.

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