Leonard Davis

The USC Davis School was established in 1975 through a gift from Leonard Davis, a pioneer in the development of insurance for older Americans. At a time when older adults could not easily obtain life, health or automobile insurance, Davis devised innovative approaches for providing them with much-needed coverage. His commitment to the cause of older Americans brought him to testify before congressional committees on issues related to aging, and he was a delegate to the 1970 White House Conference on Aging. In 1958, Davis founded the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) with Ethel Percy Andrus. When Dr. Andrus died in 1968, Davis led the effort to create a lasting memorial for this outstanding woman: the Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center at USC. His generosity enabled the USC Davis School to eventually create the country’s first Ph.D., master’s and bachelor’s degree programs in gerontology.