Ashton Applewhite

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Ashton Applewhite is a writer and activist based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism and a leading spokesperson for a movement to mobilize against discrimination on the basis of age. In 2016, she joined the PBS site Next Avenue’s annual list of 50 Influencers in Aging as their Influencer of the Year. Applewhite has been recognized by the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the American Society on Aging as an expert on ageism. She blogs at This Chair Rocks, has written for Harper’s, Playboy, and the New York Times, and is the voice of Yo, Is This Ageist? Applewhite speaks widely, at venues that have ranged from universities and community centers to Library of Congress and the United Nations. She has been named as a Fellow by the Knight Foundation, the New York Times, Yale Law School, and the Royal Society for the Arts. 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 issue of Salt magazine.

Applewhite is also the author of Cutting Loose: Why Women Who End Their Marriages Do So Well and other books. Under the pseudonym Blanche Knott, she wrote the Truly Tasteless Jokes series, the first volume of which was the best-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.

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. "You're How Old? We'll Be In Touch," New York Times, September 3, 2016.
  • 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.

Applewhite, Ashton, I Hope I Get Old Before I Die, Medium ( July 13, 2015.

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