"Don't be surprised, Pussycat," said Helen Gurley Brown, still flirtatious at eighty-four, "We're all survivors and proud of it. We want to talk about it."
And they do. Eighty of America's most famous eighty year-olds reflect on their journeys to the big 8-0 and describe the passions that keep them young. They all have opinions about today's world what is good about being eighty and what keeps them vital. The members of this generation have spent eighty-plus years honing the art of living and they have secrets to share. Their personal stories are truly inspirational.
"My answer to growing old at any age, whether you're growing to be twenty , or forty, or sixty or eighty, is to fall in love and stay in love." --Ray Bradbury, 86, author
"It's interesting to me--my career has taken off now that I'm ninety-five. It's totally taken off. I had to wait 'til I was ninety-five to be this popular." --Kitty Carlisle Hart, 95, singer
"I say quite sincerely that this is the best time of my life." --Hugh Hefner, 80, founder and editor-in-chief of Playboy
Contributors to the book include:
Mike Wallace, Helen Thomas, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Lena Horne, Kitty Carlyle Hart, Ray Bradbury, Art Buchwald, Norman Lear, Robert Byrd, George McGovern, and Jack Valenti.
Advanced Praise for 80:
"Everyone from 9-90 needs this book, because save for the two or three mad people in the world, everyone wants to live & never die. The selected people in "80" have with, charm and ensusiance revealed how they have survived, with passion, compassion, humor and style. I hope Gardner and Bellows will do another one on 90 - I am in for the long run."--Maya Angelou
"80 is the new young! These inspiring stories of vibrant, active octogenarians are the best kind of tonic for warding off worries about old age."--Tom Brokaw
"Once, almost nobody was eighty. Now many of us are and more of us are going to be soon. So Gerald Gardner and Jim Bellows give us a wonderful book about being eighty and more."--Jimmy Breslin
"A joy to read and a guaranteed attitude adjustment. These people are hope! And Gerald Gardner and Jim Bellows know how to edit down their famous lives to the fearless truths."--Gail Sheehy, author of Passages and Sex and the Seasoned Woman
"Jim Bellows' and Gerald Gardner's 80 made me laugh, 80 made me think, and 80 actually made me look forward to reaching and to enjoying that Grand Age"--Mark Shields, syndicated columnist and PBS commentator
"80 is the most heartening book on old age I've read since De Senectute (Cicero, you callow sub-octogenarians, Cicero). The 80 old folks in 80 make 80 sound so fascinating, I feel short-changed by being forced to wait until 2010 to be among their number."--Tom Wolfe
"I love this book. What a pleasure: great interviews, lovely wise people."--Annie Lamott, author of Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith