NEW YORK — Caroline Kennedy turned 50 Tuesday, becoming eligible for membership in AARP.
But the nonprofit organization for people 50 and over has bigger plans for Kennedy, daughter of President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie.
The former first daughter is featured on the cover of the January/February issue of AARP The Magazine, on newsstands next month, and will receive the magazine's Inspire Award next week.
"Ever since I was a little girl, people have told me that my father changed their lives, or that President Kennedy's inaugural challenge, `Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,' inspired a generation in the 1960s that transformed our nation with courage," she told the magazine.
"To me that is one of his greatest legacies. Now, it is up to us to redefine that commitment for our time."
Since graduating from Harvard and Columbia University School of Law, the mother of three has raised tens of millions of dollars for New York City public schools. She also has been active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Legal Defense and Education Fund and the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.
Kennedy was only 3 when her family moved into the White House. A news photo of the young Caroline with her pony was the inspiration for Neil Diamond's smash hit "Sweet Caroline," which he revealed while performing the song by satellite at Kennedy's 50th birthday party _ after holding onto the secret for decades.
The magazine asked Kennedy: How does 50 feel?
"It's not that old, is it?" Kennedy said. "I feel like I'm really happy, fortunate to have my family and the things I'm involved in, even without the people not here who were here once."
She will receive the AARP award Monday at a Manhattan luncheon. Other winners include Gladys Knight, Gary Sinise and Helen Thomas.
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