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Story date: Tuesday, December 2, 1997 -- San Francisco, CA USA


Former US Senator Bill Bradley 'Listens' to Aging Boomers
In New Interactive Column

Life-Defining Transitions will Be the Focus

ThirdAge.com <http://thirdage.com/> the well known online community for active older adults, today announced the debut of "Bill Bradley Listening," <http://thirdage.com/bradley> a new monthly interactive column written by former United States Senator Bill Bradley, 54. The column features stories and ideas from Bradley and from individuals across the country highlighting the transitions facing Americans today.

"We haven't yet begun to effectively tap the most valuable resource we have - people," said former United States Senator and now Third Age contributor Bill Bradley. "One way to begin to do this is by listening to the stories of people across the country - particularly Third Agers. These individuals, like myself, are in the midst of a life-defining transition into the latter part of life. It's a time where seeking meaning in things outside of the material is particularly important. My hope is that by utilizing the Internet to share some of my stories and ideas I might begin a series of discussions on the issues facing Americans at this important time in their lives."

According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, there are nearly 70 million people 50 years of age and older in the U.S. today. With Baby Boomers turning 50 at the rate of nearly one every seven seconds, this the fastest growing segment of the population. Internet use by this group is also large and growing quickly. According to a March, 1997 Nielsen/CommerceNet report, the number of Internet users in North America has doubled to 50.6 million during the last year, with 7.6 million (15%) of these aged 50 and older.

"Bill Bradley is the consummate Third Ager," said Mary Furlong, CEO and Founder of Third Age Media. "Successful transitions are at the heart of a vital Third Age and listening -- both to others and to yourself, is the key to successful transitions. 'Bill Bradley Listening' takes the experience of someone who has built a reputation for making successful transitions -- from the NBA to the Senate and now from the Senate into an extended public role - and combines it with the incredible powers of connection and interaction found though the Internet."

"This is a momentous step in the evolution of digital citizenship," continued Furlong. "Senator Bradley has clearly positioned himself as a leader in taking advantage of the Internet's power to facilitate this kind of exchange."

The Column fills an evident need and desire for increased digital participation and feedback around the topics that most intimately affect the lives of Third Agers and others throughout the country. In a recent Wired/Merrill Lynch poll on Digital Citizen ship, it was found that the more wired a citizen is the more confidence he or she tend to have in democracy. The same poll also found that wired citizens tended to have more faith in the future. In addition to the monthly columns written by Senator Bradley, 'Bill Bradley Listening,' also features forums where Third Agers can post their own stories and views as well as periodic chats hosted by the former Senator around topics of the day. The first column looks at the transition from relying upon our parents to caring for them as they age. Future columns will deal with subjects including:

The text of the column will also be syndicated through the Third Age News Service. Third Age News Service, based in Washington, DC is the largest news service producing news and features for and about active older adults. More than 200 newspapers across the country subscribe to the service.

Bill Bradley, a Democrat representing New Jersey, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. He was reelected in 1984 and 1990, and during his Senate years served on the Finance Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, the Special Committ ee on Aging, and, for eight years, on the Special Committee on Intelligence. He decided not to run for re-election upon completion of his third Senate term at the end of 1996. Before his election to the Senate, he was a professional basketball player with the New York Knicks, from 1967 until 1977. He earned a degree in American history from Princeton University in 1965, and, as a Rhodes Scholar, he went on to earn a graduate degree from Oxford University in 1968.

Background:

The term "Third Age" is a translation of the French Troisieme Age and refers to the active time of life after middle adulthood when the principle responsibilities of raising a family and working are complete or slowing and they have the time and the money pursue their passions with vigor. It is a term of growing popularity in the United States and captures the new attitudes of aging held by the aging baby boomers

Third Age Media, the producer of ThirdAge.com, is a new media company creating a wide range of services for the growing population of active older adults - Third Agers -- in the U.S. and worldwide. Through web sites, a syndicated news service, outbound e-mail programs, content partnerships, research programs, events and commerce services, Third Age Media gives Third Agers the tools to connect with others who share their interests, as well as access to important information and services in a variety of interest areas.


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