Actor, 60 + years
Author of 23 books, his latest co-authored with Mark Victor Hansen
Three-time Emmy winner, including Lifetime Achievement Award
Married 70 years
Art Linkletter: How to be a Sassy Senior
The 700 Club
FROM HOBO TO HEAVEN
Art was born in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1912. He was orphaned and then adopted by an elderly traveling Baptist evangelist and his wife. Surrounded by religion, Art wanted to get out and see the world by the time he was 16. He showed his entrepreneurial spirit by picking through discarded lemons at a fruit packing plant and going door to door to sell the fruit.
Art started his career in radio and became the host of People Are Funny, a show that ran for 19 years. Then Art moved to TV and hosted House Party, a daytime program of interviews and features for housewifes. He’s also known for the popular The Art Linkletter Show and Kids Say the Darndest Things.
Tragedy struck when his son-in-law, husband to his eldest daughter, committed suicide. Then his daughter, Dian, died at 20 when she jumped from her sixth floor apartment after suffering recurring effects of LSD. Art went through denial, disbelief and questioned God about why this happened. Up to this point, he had been a cardboard Christian, just keeping form, but he had forgotten his source of power. Dian’s death caused Art to re-evaulate his faith. Art soon began educating the public about fighting drug abuse and was later named to President Nixon’s National Advisory Council for Drug Abuse Prevention.
During his hectic speaking schedule, Art, now 94, noticed he was being invited to more senior groups. He became interested in aging and began researching the issue. Art believes we don’t have to stop living and learning while getting into the later years of life. “If you want to enjoy your life, there’s only one thing you can do: don’t get old. Grow old,” says Art. “Many of us have not embraced the idea that we can be more vital and alive at 70 than we were at forty.” He believes that the prime of life is no longer at 40. Art says the “second prime” is in your 60s, 70s or even 80 when you can use your wisdom, experience and financial resources to start fresh. He and co-author Mark Hansen created an online community, www.SecondPrime.com, for baby boomers who want to live long and brilliantly.
He says seniors must keep everything in motion, muscles, capacity to make decisions, ambitions and sense of purpose. “Keeping your body in tip-top condition into your second prime means remaining independent as long as possible,” says Art. “The healthcare system is prescriptive, meaning it’s all about waiting for disease to develop and then treating it. The new vision is to make medicine preventive.”
Art and Mark came up with Ten Empowerments that help boomers getting older:
- Defy the stereotypes of old age. Create the life you want rather than being bound by archaic ideas.
- Determine your longevity. Eat well, exercise, find ways to let go of stress, challenge your mind.
- Make new friends and create rich new relationships. Don’t go into seclustion.
- Don’t retire at 65. Find something new to do.
- Be more fit than you were at 30.
- Keep your mind sharp and agile. Do crossword puzzles. Dedicate a summer to reading books.
- Make a positive difference in your world. Volunteer in the community. Be willing to act for a cause.
- Discover your creativity. Paint, play piano, write poetry or something creative.
- Look forward, not back. Don’t be an old crank.
- Create a life of new experiences, inspiration and great achievements.
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