The Secret Millionaire Twins

Kathleen and Robert Magowan of Simsbury, Conn., never attracted much attention during their lifetimes. The twin siblings, born in New York, lived for a time in Bolivia and Alaska – their father was an explosives manufacturing executive – before settling in Connecticut in 1942. Neither Kathleen, an elementary schoolteacher, nor Robert, who served in the military in World War II and then became an agent for Prudential insurance, ever married. In later years they lived together as near recluses in a …

Malcolm Renfrew: The Non-Stick Man

You may not know what polytetrafluoroethylene resin is, but it’s why the scrambled eggs you make for breakfast slide cleanly out of the frying pan. You know it as Teflon, a miraculous material that remains slick and smooth and resists reacting with heat, electricity, acids and solvents. Teflon is used to coat consumer products ranging from tennis rackets to windshield wiper blades. It toughens aircraft hoses and the space suits worn by astronauts. It’s even protects the cast-iron fence around President Harry …

Ronald Motley: The Lawyer Who Beat Big Tobacco

If Ronald Lee Motley hadn’t existed, some novelist or screenwriter surely would have made him up: a high-powered, flamboyant attorney with a smooth-as-silk Southern drawl who fancied ostrich-skin cowboy boots and liked to sail on a 165-foot yacht named after Themis, the female Greek titan of law, whenever he wasn’t in a courtroom whacking corporate bigwigs around like so many piñatas. Motley, who died on Aug. 22 at age 68 in Charleston, S.C., was both so larger-than-life colorful and so effective …

‘Buy American’ – Guess Who Does It Most

A lot of Americans bemoan the number of factory jobs that have been outsourced or lost to foreign competition over the past few decades. But when it comes to supporting companies that make their products in the United States, it’s older Americans who are most willing to step up and let their money do the talking. That’s the finding of two recent polls, which show that boomers and their predecessors in the “Eisenhower Generation” (ages 67 and older) are the …

10 Surprising Facts about America’s Champions of Aging

Celebrating May as Older Americans Month offers the perfect time to remember leaders who helped to build a nation that respects and protects its older citizens. A new AARP website feature called Champions of Aging does precisely that. All 10 made contributions that changed America for the better, and created opportunities for those in their 50s, 60s and beyond to lead healthier, more financially secure, and more meaningful and enjoyable lives. Some of the champions’ names are better know than …

The Rolling Stones: 5 of Their Most Outrageous Tour Moments

The ancient Greeks had the Dionysian mysteries, when they would abandon propriety, dance wildly in a trance-like state and revel in various sorts of intoxicated excess. For boomers, that sounds eerily similar to Rolling Stones concerts of our youth. A 1972 Associated Press account of a Stones show at Philadelphia’s Spectrum arena – “a festival of heat, hysteria, perfume, sweat, marijuana smoke and deafening music inside” – merely grazes the surface of the hedonistic mass ritual. Related: The Stones’ 50 …