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|The History of the Florida Council on Aging
Interest in aging was primarily a commercial concern in Florida up until the mid-twentieth century. Initially, the goal of stimulating tourism and bringing retirees to the state was more important than actually dealing with the well-being and welfare of the aged. However, the tide began to change in 1951, when Florida Governor Fuller Warren created a Retirement Committee, which lasted for two years. This was followed by the establishment of the Improvement Commission's Research Division, which later became the Florida Development Commission's Retirement Division.
The Gerontological Society, a national organization developed in the 1940's, consisted of scientists who were interested in the aging process. A few of the Florida members of this society would later take the lead in founding the Florida Council on Aging.
The Florida Conference on Social Welfare appointed a State Committee on Gerontology in 1951 and the first statewide meeting took place May 7, 1952 in Tampa. The first official motion at this meeting was made by Walter Keyes and seconded by Sidney Entman: "That this Statewide committee on Gerontology adopt as its major objective the sponsorship and encouragement for the State of Florida to establish a State Board, Commission or Authority on Aging, which would be charged with the responsibility to organize, assemble, study and promote leadership and services in the field of gerontology for the best benefit for the people of Florida." Walter Keyes was appointed by the executive committee of the conference to carry out the recommendations of the steering committee to establish a new organization.
1) The Origin and History of the Florida Council on Aging (1955 - 1968), written by Sidney Entman, FCOA's first president.
2) History of FCOA: 1968 - 1989, written by Margaret Jacks, FCOA's fourth president.
3) Various issues of AgeWise.
4) 2005 White House Conference on Aging Website: http://www.whcoa.gov/about/history.asp