Skip to comments.Success after 40 (Vanity)
Posted on 07/01/2006 7:35:41 AM PDT by Bon mots
Success after the age of 40.
I need help.
I am writing an article about people who have attained their real success after the age of 40. These days we are always hearing of the wunderkind who starts an Internet company and makes zillions by the time he's 12 years old (or 25). Michael Dell, Shawn Fanning (well almost), Bill Gates and other techies/entrepreneurs all made millions by the time they were 25. We all love these rags-to-riches stories, and this seems to foster the belief that if you haven't done it by 40, you never will. I am writing about people who had their great success at or beyond middle age.
There are and were plenty of people who were otherwise regarded as failures until they were inspired to action after their fortieth birthday. I will list some here.
Grandma Moses was nobody until she was 80. She retired from a long and hard-working life as a farmer. Then one day, she picked up a piece of wood, a paintbrush and some paint... and the rest is history. Her artwork hangs in museums across America and she is celebrated as a great artist in the folk style.
"Colonel" Harland Sanders Started the KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) chain of restaurants when he was 65 years old.
Was a milk-shake machine salesman when he was 52. Hardly anyone's ideal job and not much of a career. Until the day he started McDonald's restaurants. The rest is history.
Started Wal-Mart at or about his 40th birthday. His first successful store was basically taken away from him by his landlord's son. His landlord refused to renew his lease once he saw how much money Sam was making on that spot, and he leased it to his son instead who opened a business doing just what Sam was doing. Sam got depressed at first, but then got busy. Very busy. He proceeded to build the world's largest shopping location and a huge fortune.
So folks, this is my kernel of a story. I need help with more such inspirational stories of people who were fairly unsuccessful (financially speaking) until middle age or so. I know that there are many more such examples, and would like to have more than just a handful of paradigms.
Even a name will help, I can find the rest!
Henry Miller was 40 when he wrote *Tropic of Cancer*
I married the man of my dreams when I was 38 and our marriage is perfect. Does that count?
Sorry, you're way too young.
Come back when you're bigger kid!
(Success isn't only measured in dollar$ and cents.)
That's the best of all.
"In 1994, George Foreman once again went for the world championship, after Michael Moorer had beaten Holyfield for the IBF and WBA titles. Foreman was trailing badly on all scorecards when he suddenly knocked out Moorer in the 10th round on November 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With this, Foreman broke two records: He became, at the age of 45, the oldest fighter ever to win the world Heavyweight crown, and, 20 years after losing his world title for the first time, he broke the record for the fighter with the most time in between one world championship run and the next."
Kirk Kerkorian comes to mind; his true success began with the sale of his small charter airline service at age 52.
Phew! I'm 32. I don't have to consider myself a failure yet, because I didn't finish writing my book yet.
Many of us have been successful by finding a life that we love. Getting away from the "grind" and finding a more peaceful life has been my treasure.
Ulysses S. Grant
Correction: and to actually that.
and to actually watch that happen.
I'm 47 now.
So my list now expands to include:
How old was Ronald Reagan when he got in politics?
There are a zillion more examples.
Oh, and Sam Houston was in his forties when he led the Texan Army to victory at San Jacinto.
There is another book about people who made it 'big' after 40. I will try to track down the name. It was about people who were moderately successful - not necessarily becoming billionaires.
One of the people in it was a local television hostess who had never been before the cameras until she was 40. If I find more information I'll post it.
Thanks. I never heard of Louis Kahn. Strange story. Somehow got a job as a professor of architecture at Yale (1947), yet never actually built anything until at least five years later.
His first major work came when he was 50 years old. The Art Gallary at Yale University (19511953), the first significant commission of Louis Kahn and his first masterpiece, replete with technical innovations, like a floor slab system giving access to mechanical systems, and a somewhat 'brutalist' shock to Yale's neo-Gothic context.
I've been by and in that building many times. It never struck me as a work of art in itself. I'll have to revisit one of these days.
Louis Kahn died penniles, or rather deep in debt. However, the standard of success for architects is somewhat different in that their legacy graces the landscape for centuries and thus, the financial aspects of their condition at their death are overlooked.
Gallary = Gallery
Good luck on that. I started my book when I was 32, I am 61 now and hope to be finished reading it in a few more years.
I turn 40 this Thursday. So, unless I manage to revise, submit, get accepted, and have published a novel in the next 5 days, it looks like any success I have, at least in the public eye, will be after 40.
Sam Walton was 43 years old when he started Wal-Mart.
Actually, the McDonald brothers started McDonald's restaurants (the first was opened in San Bernardino in 1940; Mr. Kroc opened the ninth one as a franchise.) Mr. Kroc finally bought them out later, in 1961. Also, see the current Wikipedia entry for Ray Kroc, the answers.com entry for Ray Kroc, and the Wikipedia entry for McDonald's Corporation.
Mark Twain was in his thirties before he was published nationally. He hit his stride in his forties, and was 49 when "Huckleberry Finn" was published.
Yeah, I know he went national at 37, but his first tome (and big nationwide exposure) was at 41.
Sister Marion Irvine, my *hero* (heroine).
" ... The story of Sister Marion Irvine amazed us all. Sister Marion did not start running until 47 years of age. She was overweight and smoked two packs a day. She started out half-running and half-walking. In 1984, she qualified for the Marathon Olympic Trials at the age of 54. ..."
>>>>That was a record that still stands, for the oldest person to ever qualify for the Olympic Trials in the Marathon. I heard Sr. Marion speak in a small group about 2 years after that - and was so moved, I've never forgotten her. She has set every speed record for her age group and is now 71 - and still running, most likely.
When I heard her speak, she was the fastest woman in the world for her age, 57. She probably still is, but I haven't checked on her lately. When she described starting out as a smoker and overweight, how her first try was to the mailbox and every day for a week she walked/jogged to that mailbox until one day she went a little further and did that distance for a week and so on, I knew I could do that, too.
She is truly inspirational.