Nine Amazing People Who Became 'Successful' After Age 40
Does 40 seem old to you? Do you think a 50-year-old is past their prime creatively? Think they can’t wrap their brains around the latest tech ideas?
Obviously, you’re smart enough to guess these are trick questions. What you may not realize is that the average age of most founders is around 40, and if you wait until 50 you are more likely to see a successful exit. Recently on ICYMI we shared all the proof points of why you’re never too old to start a new company, so, today, let’s focus on inspiring you!
Some of society’s great icons got “started” late in life - or at least well known for their talents after 40. Julia Child, the first chef to make cooking on TV normal programming, wrote her first cookbook at 50. Of course, she had a whole spy career before that, but that’s another story.
It’s not gourmet, but every entrepreneur has lived on Ramen noodles at least once in their lifetime. You have Momofuku Ando to thank. He invented instant ramen at age 48 in 1958.
Henry Ford was 45 when he created the revolutionary Model T car in 1908 which made the assembly line commonplace. That same method of mass production is used in nearly every product created on the planet today.
Love your wardrobe? Fashion icon Vera Wang designed her first dress at age 40 which launched her career and business as an independent designer and eventually household name in bridal fashion. Donald Fisher was 40 when he and his wife opened the doors of The Gap in San Francisco in 1969. The brand and the company flourished and now includes several successful clothing brands.
In entertainment, the Marvel Comic legend, Stan Lee, didn’t write “Fantastic Four” (his first big hit) until he was almost 39. Lee would enjoy a 75-year career in comics never retiring from the work he loved.
Samuel L. Jackson has been a Hollywood staple for decades too, but he'd had only bit parts before landing an award-winning role at age 43 in Spike Lee's film "Jungle Fever" in 1991.
Ah, so you’re looking for tech stories?Dot-com entrepreneur Jim Kimsey (who mentored me in business) was 46 when he joined my former boss at Revolution, Steve Case, and Marc Seriff to found America Online. AOL merged with media company Time Warner in a $160 billion deal at the peak of the dot-com boom in 2000.
The ubiquitous chip powering PCs comes from Robert Noyce who co-founded Intel in 1968 at 41. Noyce is considered one of the forefathers of the modern semiconductor industry and is credited as one of the inventors of the silicon microchip, which both fueled the personal computer revolution and lent Silicon Valley its name.
And, last, but not least ... if you need a laugh today, thank Betty White who didn't become an icon until she joined the cast of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" in 1973 at age 51 and is still making the world laugh to this day at 98 years old!!!
This list of incredible middle-aged people could prattle on for pages but the key takeaway is this: You are never too old!
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!