Ashton Applewhite

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Ashton Applewhite is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York, whose subjects range from family policy to science and technology. Since 2007, Applewhite has been writing about ageing and ageism at her website, This Chair Rocks. During this period, she’s become a Knight Fellow, a New York Times Fellow, an Age Boom Fellow (Columbia University School of Journalism) and a fellow at the Yale Law School's Information Society Project. She is also the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? Since 2012, Applewhite has been speaking widely about how ageism makes aging in America so much harder than it has to be, as well as about the medicalization of old age, ageism and elder abuse, and the effects of ageism on women’s lives. She has been recognized as an expert on ageism by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging. In 2015 she was included in a list of 100 inspiring women who are committed to social change—along with Arundhati Roy, Aung Sang Suu Kyi, Germaine Greer, Naomi Klein, Pussy Riot, and other remarkable activists—in the inaugural issues of Salt magazine.

Applewhite is the author of Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well and other books. Under the pseudonym Blanche Knott, she is the author of the Truly Tasteless Jokes series, the first volume of which was the biggest-selling mass-market book of 1983,[1] and was the first woman to have four books on the New York Times best-seller list. Applewhite's memoir, "Being Blanche" was published in Harper's Magazine in June 2011. Her anti-ageism manifesto will be published by OR Books in 2015.

She is a liaison to the board of the Council on Contemporary Families and a staff writer at the American Museum of Natural History.


  • Applewhite, Ashton. "This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism." Perfect Paperback,2016
  • Applewhite, Ashton. "Being Blanche." Harper's magazine, June 2011
  • Applewhite, Ashton. Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well, New York: HarperCollins, 1997.
  • Applewhite, Ashton and Bernie S. Siegel. Thinking Positive: Words of Inspiration, Encouragement, and Validation for People with AIDS and Those Who Care for Them, New York: Fireside Books, 1995.
  • Applewhite, Ashton; Tripp Evans; and Andrew Frothingham. And I Quote (Revised Edition): The Definitive Collection of Quotes, Sayings, and Jokes for the Contemporary Speechmaker, New York: Thomas Dunne Books; Revised edition, 2003
  • Applewhite, Ashton. "Being Blanche: Coming Clean about Truly Tasteless Jokes", Harper's Magazine, June 2011, pages 65–67.
  • Knott, Blanche. "Truly Tasteless Jokes One", Ashtonia LLC; eBook edition, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9833594-0-1
  • Knott, Blanche. "Truly Tasteless Jokes Two", Ashtonia LLC; eBook edition, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9833594-1-8
  • Knott, Blanche. "Truly Tasteless Jokes Three", Ashtonia LLC; eBook edition, 2011. ISBN 978-0-9833594-2-5


  1. ^ McDowell, Edwin (November 19, 1990). "Publishing; Many Houses Find Images Are Blurred". The New York Times. 

McDowell, Edwin, "Many Houses Find Images Are Blurred," New York Times, November 19, 1990.

Applewhite, Ashton, "How Can We Achieve Age Diversity in Silicon Valley," Medium, October 19, 2015.

Applewhite, Ashton, How I Became an Old Person in Training," Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging, October 22, 2015.

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