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May 3, 2021

These People Got Their Big Breaks After the Age of 50

There’s no age limit on trying new things. However, some people over the age of 50 think they’re too old to do something different. We’ve become obsessed with the TikTok star who seemingly becomes an overnight success or the child star who grew up on screen. However, for every young business owner or celeb, there’s an individual over 50 who’s finding success in business, leadership, or life. Read on to learn about 15 people who didn’t let their age stop them from persevering.

Arianna Huffington

The Huffington Post is a household name today, but Arianna Huffington didn’t co-found the publication until she was 55. She became editor-in-chief six years later. Prior to her foray into media ownership, Huffington was a political commentator and writer. She went on to sell the company to AOL for $315 million.

Julia Child

Julia Child is known for introducing American audiences to French cuisine. She wrote her first cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” at age 50 before becoming the star of several cooking programs on television. Prior to this, Child worked at the predecessor to the CIA and also had a career in advertising and media.

Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc created one of the industrial age’s largest global conglomerates: McDonald’s. He did so while he was in his fifties after first working as a milkshake machine salesman and then struggling to turn a profit while owning 200 McDonald’s franchises. It was by buying property and leasing it to franchisees that he created the chain so many people know and love today.

Colonel Sanders

Harland Sanders, more commonly known as Colonel Sanders, was 62 years old when he franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952. Twelve years later, he was able to sell the business for $2 million. Sanders took on a number of rolesin his younger years, such as steam engine stoker and insurance salesman. However, during the Great Depression, he started selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Kentucky. He developed his recipes and his cooking method during that time.

Harry Bernstein

The author of “The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers” was 96 years old when he published his memoirs. If this book about his childhood was not enough, Harry Bernstein went on to pen two more books.

Betty White

Betty White’s television career began in 1939, and she has won several awards since then. However, her first major role was that of Sue Ann Nivens on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” a role she played from the age of 51. White has been on TV for more than 80 years, meaning she has been in the industry for longer than anyone else. 

Tim and Nina Zagat

These two attorneys were 51 years old when they launched the first Zagat Survey and published their first guide. Back in 1979, they surveyed their friends for the first set of restaurant reviews. At its height, the Zagat Survey covered airlines, restaurants, hotels, museums, theatres, and more across 70 cities and based on the input from 250,000 individuals. Zagat has undergone several changes in recent years.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The first of the “Little House” books were published in 1932 when Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 years old. She worked as a teacher prior to her marriage and then spent her later years crafting the semi-autobiographical stories that went on to become classics. The books served as the inspiration for the “Little House on the Prairie” TV show.

Charles Darwin

“On the Origin of the Species” is seen as the foundation of evolutionary science. Charles Darwin published it in 1859 at the age of 50, and it attracted widespread interest although it was controversial. Darwin’s theories continue to be highly respected and discussed today.

Fauja Singh

Fauja Singh was the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon. He participated in the London Marathon in 2000 after undergoing intense training. Singh tried to launch his running career when he was a young man, but it was only after his wife, son, and other family members died that he committed to the task. When he was 93, he broke the record in the 90 and over age group by 57 minutes.

President Joe Biden

Biden became the oldest man to be elected president of the United States at 78 years and 61 days. However, he was no stranger to the political arena. He served in the senate for 36 years and served as vice-president of the United States alongside former President Barak Obama. 

For many people, youth is a time of experimentation

However, there’s no reason why you can’t pursue your dream at age 50, 60, or 70. It’s not uncommon for the top lawmakers in the United States to be over the age of 70, and as you can see from the list, some people find new forms of success even later. If you’ve been thinking about launching a new business or writing your memoirs, you should never feel like it’s too late. Contact WiseForce Advisors for a consultation at info@wiseforceadvisors.com.