Maggie Kuhn attended the Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she majored in English literature with a minor in sociology and French. In 1930, she became head of the professional department at the Young Women's Christian Association in Philadelphia, believing that a group could empower an individual and help her find meaning and purpose. For the next 25 years, Kuhn worked as writer, editor, and program coordinator for the United Presbyterian Church, focusing on race relations, housing, the aged, and medical care. Forced into retirement at age 65, Kuhn and a group of like-minded people formed the Consultation of Older and Younger Adults for Social Change—later the Gray Panthers—to address the problems of retirees. The Gray Panthers were responsible for the enactment of the 1978 Age Discrimination in Employment Act that raised the mandatory retirement age from 65 to 70.