There’s certainly no age limit on career success! Here’s our top 10 list of people who found success after the age of 50.
1. Harry Bernstein
Published writer at 96 years old
Harry Bernstein started writing his first novel, The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers, when he was 93 years old. He gained literary fame at age 96 when it was published in 2007.
The novel is a memoir of his childhood growing up in a poor Jewish family in a northern English mill town. In 2007, when talking about his novel he said,“The first 25 years of my life are something I would rather forget, but the contrary has taken place. The older I get the more alive those years have become.”
2. Gladys Burrill
Marathon runner at 92 years old
Gladys Burrill began her marathon running career at the age of 86.
She gained fame when she set the World Record for the oldest woman to finish a marathon at the age of 92. She power-walked and jogged the Honolulu Marathon in 2012, completing the run in nine hours and 53 minutes.
When asked the secret to her success, she puts her fitness and accomplishment down to keeping a positive attitude and outlook on life.
3. Anna Mary Robertson Moses
Painter at 78 years old
Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known by her nickname Grandma Moses, began her painting career at age 78. Painting was always a dream of hers in her early childhood. However, her busy life as a housekeeper, farm labourer, mother, and wife meant she didn’t have the chance to pursue her dream until later in life.
She lived to 101 years old and enjoyed a very successful career in the arts. Her work remains popular today with one of her paintings Sugaring Off selling for $1.2 million dollars in 2006!
4. Peter Mark Roget
Published lexicographer at 73 years old
You may have used Roget’s Thesaurus at some point, but did you know the man who wrote it was 73 years old when it was first published?
In 1852, Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases was published for the first time. It would become the most widely used English language thesaurus with new editions still being published to this day using the original classifications Roget established.
5. Laura Ingalls Wilder
Published writer at 65 years old
Laura Ingalls Wilder began writing the Little House series of children’s books at 65 years old. The stories are based on her childhood growing up as part of a pioneer family in a small house in Wisconsin between 1870 and 1894. Her books were very successful and she published eight books in the series.
Her series would go on to form the basis for the popular television series Little House on the Prairie which ran from 1974 to 1983.
6. Harland Sanders
Founder of KFC at 62 years old
Better known as Colonel Sanders, Harland Sanders was 62 years old when he first franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). He sold the business along with his secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices for $2 million dollars 12 years later at the age of 74.
His name and image are still iconic symbols for the company which is now one of the largest fast-food chains in the world.
7. Ray Kroc
McDonald’s owner at 59 years old
Also finding success in the fast-food industry, Ray Kroc was 59 years old when he bought his first McDonald’s restaurant from the McDonald brothers.
He went on to lead it into a global franchise and the world’s most successful fast-food corporation. Ray Kroc’s McDonald’s franchise made him a multi-millionaire during his lifetime.
8. Julia Child
Celebrity chef at 51 years old
Julia Child is recognised for making French cuisine accessible to the American public with her best-selling cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She went on to create The French Chef in 1963, a successful television cooking show which made her a household name in America. However, this success all came later in life. She was 51 years old when she had her TV debut as a celebrity chef.
Following her death in 2004, she became well known again with the 2009 film, Julie and Julia, starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep.
9. Charles Darwin
Published the Theory of Evolution at 50 years old
Charles Darwin is one of the most famous naturalists and scientists of all time. He is famous for his Theory of Evolution that all living creatures are descendants of a common ancestor. However, he didn’t publish his theory in his book On The Origin of Species until he was 50 years old.
He published On The Origin of Species in 1870. Within 11 years of publication, the scientific community had come to accept his theory of evolution as a scientific fact. His theory was groundbreaking and created a huge impact, influencing modern science as we know it today.
10. Momofuku Ando
Instant noodle creator at 50 years old
Momofuku Ando is an inventor and businessman famous for inventing instant noodles. However, it wasn’t until he was 50 years old that he first invented the instant noodle! His next invention at age 61 was the cup noodle. He had the idea to package his instant noodles in a polystyrene water-proof cup. All you needed to do was add water!
With his invention, he created the highly successful brands Top Ramen and Cup Noodles. This became a global business with instant noodles becoming popular all over the world.
He lived until he was 96 years old and put his longevity down to playing golf and eating cup noodles every day.