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Review the sections on this page and under the “Related Information” tab to learn about the history of the IEEE Life grade, the establishment of the Life Members Fund, the origin of the Life Committee, formation of Life Affinity Groups, and how the program evolved through the years to become the program it is today.
The grade of Life first appeared in the AIEE constitution of 1884. In that year, the AIEE allowed any member to become a Life member and be exempt from paying annual dues by making a one-time payment. The payment amount rose over the years and, in 1925, it was based on the member’s age. That same year, the AIEE also established the membership category of “members for Life,” which bestowed dues exemption on those who had paid dues for 35 years. The IRE also had Life members but only since 1947, when the organization voted to waive the dues of every member who had reached the age of 65 and had paid dues for 35 years.
When AIEE and IRE merged with IEEE in 1964, the IEEE Life membership required that an individual be age 65 and a member of AIEE or IRE for at least 35 years, or be age 70 and a member of AIEE or IRE for 30 years. As it stands today, IEEE Life members are members who are at least 65 years old and whose collective age and years of membership equal 100 or more.