Friday, February 01, 2008

Intergenerational Champion Passes

I’m saddened to hear about the passing of one our greatest public servants and champions of intergenerational cooperation. Bob Ball, the former social security commissioner, passed away on Tuesday at age 93. On behalf of Generations United, I would like to offer our deepest sympathy to the Ball family for their loss.

Ball was integral to the development and health of two great pillars of society, Social Security and Medicare. Ball began working on Social Security as a field assistant in 1939 and eventually rose to the role of commissioner. Later, he was instrumental in the enactment of Medicare. He viewed these programs as a great promise to our children and seniors:

"Because we owe so much to the past, we have an obligation to pass on a world to the next generation which is a little better than the one we inherited so that those who come after, standing on our shoulders, can see a little further and do a little better in turn.”
-Robert Ball

Much of the work we do at Generations United is standing on the shoulders of Bob Ball’s exemplary life. John Rother, Chair of Generations United’s Board, attested to his leadership in an obituary published on The New York Times website. ''His dedication has inspired a whole generation of younger advocates and leaders in the field and his writings will continue to influence the debate for broader health and pension coverage for years to come.,” Rother wrote.