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People who achieved their biggest success after age 40

Updated: May 23




It's easy to think that you're too old to start something or achieve success. However, it can be incredibly inspiring to look at a list of people that didn't really achieve their success until after the age of 40 or even older in some cases. It's never too late to pursue your dreams. It's also easy to say that you don't have the skills or experience to do something you really want to do. Even more impressive than just the ages, many of the people were in completely different careers with no experience in the careers or businesses that they found their ultimate success in. Don't let anything stop you. Enjoy the list, be inspired, and feel free to reach out to me if you find someone that you feel should be on this list!


Ray Kroc


Ray met Dick and Mac McDonald while selling milkshake mixers at age 50. He was so impressed with their process and their systems that he bought McDonald's at age the age of 52 and franchised it. And, well, you know the rest...


Duncan Hines


Duncan was a salesman and discovered his culinary career at age 55. Although he didn't have any culinary skills of his own, he built a brand that is in practically every kitchen in America.


Leo Goodwin


Before there was the GEICO gecko, WAAAAY before, there was Leo Goodwin. Leo was an accountant before he started GEICO at age 50. It is now one of the biggest insurance companies in the country.


Julia Child


Julia began her career working for a government agency. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu, a cooking school in Paris, she wrote Mastering the Art of French Cooking at age 49 and starred in her hit TV show, The French Chef, at age 51.


Samuel Jackson


Samuel L Jackson's movies have grossed over $7 billion dollars. However, his first big hit wasn't until he was 43 when he starred in Jungle Fever. He was in recovery from cocaine and heroine addiction at the time.


Vera Wang


Vera Wang was a fairly well known figure skater and later as a fashion editor before deciding to become a designer at age 40. We're pretty sure you've heard of her.


Charles Darwin


Charles Darwin is often referred to as the Father of Evolution. However, he didn't publish his most well known book,"On the Origin of the Species" until the age of 50.


Sam Walton


If you're alive and have eyes, we're pretty sure you've been to or at least seen a Walmart. Sam Walton is the founder, but he didn't open his first Walmart until the age of 44.


Donald Fisher


Donald Fisher opened his first Gap store with his wife at the age of 40. Even more impressive is the fact that neither he or his wife had any previous retail experience. The brand generates over a $1 billion in revenue per year. Not bad for someone with "no experience".


Robin Chase


Robin Chase is the founder of one of the original car share companies, Zipcar. She founded the company at the age of 42.


Henry Ford


Henry Ford was the creator of the Model T and probably more importantly, is credited with the innovation of the assembly line. However, he was 45 when he created his the Model T.


Steve Carell


Well known actor and comedian Steve Carell was 42 when he landed the role in the hit show The Office that put him on the map. I had a Prius for awhile and all everyone could do was refer to the "Prius drive by shooting" episode from that show.


Laura Ingalls Wilder


If you grew up in the 80's with older sisters, then you'll remember the show Little House on the Prairie. The author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, didn't the "Little House" books until the age of 65.


Colonel Sanders


If you love fried chicken, then you've heard of Colonel Sanders. The Colonel didn't franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 62.


Arianna Huffington


Arianna Huffington didn't start her signature media company, the Huffington Post, until she was 55. She's now worth about $50 million.


Grandma Moses


One of the best known painters in American history, Grandma Moses, didn't even BEGIN to paint until she was 76 years old. That means I can chill out for another 33 years before I need to get to work!


Noah Webster


Noah Webster completed his signature American Dictionary of the English Language at the at age of 66.


Morgan Freeman


Who doesn't love that silky smooth voice of Morgan Freeman. However, he didn't get his first signature role until 1989 when he was 52 and starred in Driving Ms. Daisy.


Judge Judy


Judge Judy, who was a real judge, retired at the age of 53, immediately became one of the biggest TV stars of all time with her namesake show.



Remember, it's never too late! Set SMART goals, create a specific plan, implement a method to track progress, and just do it! Good luck!











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