Centennial Coverage

The AHA turns 100

For 100 years, the American Heart Association, along with our volunteers, supporters and collaborating organizations, has worked to build longer, healthier lives. Here is a look at major feats over our first century.

When the AHA was founded June 10, 1924, heart disease was considered a death sentence. The best option for many people, they were told, was bed rest. There was no treatment, no hope. But the AHA’s founders didn’t believe that. They felt that if we only understood heart disease, treatments would follow. And were they ever right. Fast-forward to today and there are not only treatments, but proven ways to lower your risk for heart disease as well as stroke. Through scientific research and the power of millions of volunteers and supporters, we have a deeper understanding of the many factors that contribute to these diseases: from traditional medical issues such has high blood pressure to societal problems, structural racism and discrimination.

And there’s no letting up in the next 100 years as we remain devoted to a future of health and hope for everyone, everywhere.
 100 Years

A century of progress against cardiovascular disease

While the AHA began as a small medical association, it’s now, well, everywhere. The dedication of millions of volunteers and supporters has resulted in healthier lives wherever you turn: the grocery store, restaurants, airplanes, communities and, of course, in hospitals and doctor’s offices.

Did you know?

A century of historical tidbits
George McGinnis, Isiah Thomas and Larry Bird are among the NBA stars who have recorded public service announcements for the American Heart Association.

History at Heart

American Heart Association News looks at what we've learned about heart and brain health over the past century, and what’s next.
Read more from History at Heart

Bold Stories From the Heart

A Century of Heart

Stories about the American Heart Association’s 100 years of progress fighting heart disease, stroke and related conditions.
Read more from A Century of Heart
As the American Heart Association has evolved since its founding 100 years ago, scientific and medical discovery has always been at the forefront. (AHA archives)

What it takes to be 'relentless'

Presidential advisory explores the AHA as a multifaceted engine of past, present and future progress.

With their coach, physical education teacher Richard Cendali (center), the Skip-Its were the 1981 national demonstration team for Jump Rope For Heart, a school-based challenge that preceded today's Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge. The jump-rope squad was from Boulder Valley, Colorado, schools. (American Heart Association archives)

Putting the 'fun' in fundraising

For a half-century, playful school-based programs have taught students valuable health lessons and sparked donations for the fight against heart disease.

Since 1998, physical education teachers Jason Feid (left) and John Dempsey of North Attleboro Middle School in Massachusetts have run the school's annual educational event and fundraiser benefiting the AHA. In 2023, their efforts earned them the Outstanding Team of the Year award from the AHA. (Photo courtesy of Jason Feid)

For 25 years, these teachers have helped kids rise to the heart challenge

Competitive spirit propels a Massachusetts middle school in annual AHA educational and fundraising event.

Our Future Is About Improving Yours


Join us in preventing and overcoming heart disease and stroke by giving now. Your donation fuels essential research, advocacy for healthy communities, enhanced patient care, and equitable health access for everyone.

Second Century

Your support is the heartbeat of the American Heart Association and will help us achieve our anniversary celebration goal of raising $500 million by June 2024.

Centennial Edition Merchandise on ShopHeart

Limited edition merchandise created exclusively for the celebration of our centennial anniversary.
collage image with AHA quarter zip fleece and AHA coffee mug and AHA 100 years pin