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Our company's history began in 1955 with the idea of principal founder John Amos and his brothers, Paul and Bill Amos, who saw a need for financial protection when a medical event occurs. As Aflac continues to evolve as a company, we maintain the spirit of our founders by keeping our commitment of putting policyholders first.

1955–1969: A Time of Vision


    Aflac in the Swift building

American Family Life Insurance Company of Columbus was founded Nov. 17, 1955 when principal founder John Amos and his brothers Paul and Bill Amos started in a small six-room complex in downtown Columbus, Georgia. The company began with just 16 employees and 60 agents. After its first year of operation, American Family Life Insurance Company had over 6,400 policyholders and $388,000 in assets.



American Family Life pioneered the introduction of a cancer policy after identifying the need to lift the financial burden of cancer patients and their families.



Aflac office in the 1950s

American Family Life began “cluster selling,” which involved selling our cancer products at the work site in addition to selling directly to individuals.

The company became American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus—a name change that would later set Aflac up for one of the most groundbreaking advertising campaigns in history.

The 1970s: A Decade of Expansion


American Family Life expands from a small regional company into a rapidly growing national insurer licensed in 37 states.



Aflac Japan IntroductionAmerican Family Life began selling insurance in Japan, becoming the second U.S. life insurance company to do so.

Aflac Opens on the NYSEOn June 14, American Family Corporation was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).



Aflac Tower Dedication

To accommodate the incredible growth, American Family Life employees excitedly moved into the $7.1 million, fully paid-for, 19-story headquarters office building.

The 1980s: A Decade of Momentum

The 1980s continued our momentum as we developed our strategy of broadening our product line and expanding our distribution system.


The company reached another milestone by increasing its total assets to over $1 billion.



Aflac U.S. introduced an accident policy and a first-occurrence benefit to the cancer policy. Aflac Japan also introduced another innovative product — the world’s first dementia care policy.



Aflac Opens on the NYSE

American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus adopted the acronym “Aflac.”

The 1990s: A Decade of Innovation

The early ‘90s marked the launch of Aflac’s first national advertising campaign designed to increase the company's name recognition and laid the foundation for a decade of strong growth. Accident/disability insurance became the No. 1 selling product for Aflac U.S.


Daniel P. Amos became CEO of Aflac Incorporated and Paul S. Amos became chairman.



Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Logo

Aflac began to focus its national philanthropic efforts on the treatment and cure of childhood cancer and pledged $3 million to establish the Aflac Cancer Center at what was then Egleston Children’s Hospital, now known as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.



Aflac U.S. introduced SmartApp®, which revolutionized the policy application process by allowing agents to electronically issue business more quickly and conveniently than ever before. In 1999, SmartApp® received the Computerworld Smithsonian Award for Excellence in Technology.



Aflac Japan joined the Children's Cancer Association of Japan to build the first Aflac Parents House.

The 2000s:
A Decade of Recognition

Brand Recognition: Aflac’s success and momentum continued into the new millennium with the launch of the Aflac Duck campaign that catapulted Aflac’s consumer awareness to where about 9 out of 10 people recognize the Aflac brand in both the United States and Japan.


  Aflac's Park Bench Commercial

Jan. 1, The Aflac Duck appeared on the scene in its first commercial “Park Bench.” Since then, the Aflac Duck has become an international advertising icon and has appeared in numerous commercials.



The Aflac Duck was introduced in Japan and shortly thereafter, Aflac Japan became the No. 1 insurance company in their country in terms of the number of individual policies in force.



Aflac changed its logo to include the Aflac Duck.

Aflac pledged $1 million to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C.


Aflac became the first publicly owned company in the United States to give shareholders a non-binding “Say on Pay” advisory vote on compensation.

In the 2000s, Aflac continued to accomplish great things, and the world was taking notice. Throughout the 2000s, Aflac was included multiple times on Fortune magazine’s list of the Best Companies to Work For as well as its list of the Most Admired Companies and Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies, just to name a few.



Aflac completed its acquisition of Continental American Insurance Company, which is currently branded as Aflac Group Insurance.

The 2010s: Spreading Our Wings


Aflac U.S. exceeded $5 billion in annualized premiums in force for the first time.

Aflac was the first company to contribute more than $1 million to the Red Cross for tsunami relief after a tragic earthquake off of Northeastern Japan.



Child with a plush Aflac duck

For the first time, Aflac invited a patient at the Aflac Cancer Center to design the popular Aflac Holiday Duck. Each year, thousands of plush ducks are sold in Macy’s stores throughout the country and online, with the net profits from the duck going help to support children’s cancer treatment programs in the area where the duck was sold.



Aflac CEO Dan Amos accepted the Salute to Greatness award

Aflac CEO Dan Amos accepted the “Salute to Greatness” award from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta.



Aflac names Teresa White as President of Aflac U.S. and Audrey Boone Tillman as General Counsel, making them the first African Americans and the first women to hold their respective top leadership positions.



Aflac was the first corporation to donate $1 million to The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as part of its diversity initiatives.



Aflac cut the ribbon for Empowered Benefits (now Empowered), a benefits administration and enrollment software company owned by Aflac Incorporated.



My Special Aflac Duck®, a social robot designed to help children cope with cancer, was introduced at CES and received the Best in Show and Tech for Good award; it was subsequently named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2018.



In October 2019, Aflac opened an office in Northern Ireland.

In November 2019, Aflac completed its acquisition of Argus Dental and Vision.

The 2020s: A decade of helping close gaps in health care


Dan Amos celebrated his 30th anniversary as CEO, and we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.

Aflac was among first to move more than 90% of employees to remote work configuration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.



In January 2022, Aflac launched a national initiative, Close the Gap, to help address medical debt and disparities in health and wealth in America, an issue that affects close to 50% of Americans and disproportionately impacts people of color and those in low-income communities.

In February 2022, after significant research, Aflac adapted its award-winning My Special Aflac Duck® program for children with cancer to include children with sickle cell disease and blood disorders. More than 1,000 requests were received within the first month of the newly designed program for this disease that impacts more than 100,000 Americans.



Virgil Miller is named President of Aflac U.S., succeeding retiring Teresa White.

Aflac exceeded 25,000 deliveries of My Special Aflac Duck to kids with cancer and sickle cell disease in the U.S., Japan and Northern Ireland.

Aflac was named to Ethisphere’s list of World’s Most Ethical Companies for 17th consecutive year, making Aflac the only insurance company in the world to appear on this list every year since its inception in 2007.