24 People Whose Success Stories Began After Their 40s

Life is a marathon, not a sprint race.

Graduate by 21.

“Settled” by 25.

Married by 27.

Successful by 35.

Then come kids and the whole life lived by the books. Society has a very righteous idea of landmarks we should hit at appropriate ages in our life.

If you are not settled by the age society prescribes, something is wrong with you. If you are not successful by an age people think is “right”, something is wrong with you.

But actually, nothing is wrong. Success can be achieved at any age, provided you keep on working towards your goal.

1. Boman Irani, the actor who impressed us in Munnabhai MBBS and 3 Idiots


Boman Irani was 44 when he landed his most popular and impressive role in Munnabhai MBBS.


2. George R. R. Martin, the creator of Game Of thrones


George R. R. Martin was 48 when The Game Of Thrones was published.


3. Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the star of Gangs Of Wasseypur and Manjhi


He found his first big break when he starred in Black Friday when he was 33. Now 41, there is no looking back for this National Award winning actor.


4. Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC restaurants


Harland Sanders was 65 when he launched his signature recipe of fried chicken. The rest is history.


5. Samuel L Jackson, the second-highest all-time box office star


One of the most recognizable and profitable stars in Hollywood only got his big break at the age of 42 when he got a starring job in the movie Jungle Fever.


6. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the artists who created the Marvel comics universe


Stan Lee was 40 when he first drew his comics, and Jack Kirby was 43 when he accomplished the same. Together they created the universe we love so much.


7. Vera Wang, one of the top fashion designers in the world


Vera Wang was 40 when she first launched her own line of fashion clothes.


8. Ray Croc, the founder of McDonalds


Ray Croc was 52 when he was fed up with just filling milkshake glasses for an eatery as a living.


9. Morgan Freeman, the most recognizable face of Hollywood and an Academy Award winner


Morgan Freeman got his first breakthough role in the movie Street Smart when he was 50!


10. Mark Twain, the funniest writer of all time


Mark Twain was 41 when he published The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer.


11. Alan Rickman, the man who gave us the perfect Hans Gruber and Severus Snape


One of the finest actors to have ever existed got his first acting job when he was 42! Before this he used to work in the costume department, dressing up other actors.


12. Momofuku Ando, the inventor of instant noodles


Momofuku is the person you should thank if you enjoy your instant noodles snacks. He was 48 when he came out with the idea of ramen instant noodles that became a global hit.


13. Fauja Singh, the man who ran a marathon at the age of 92


He ran his first marathon when he was 92 and holds the world record for the same.


14. Susan Boyle, the singer who impressed us all with her awesome voice out of blue


Susan Boyle wowed the audience and judges alike on Britain’s Got Talent when she was 57. She is one of the most recognizable and popular singers in Britain today.


15. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond


Ian Fleming was 43 when he first wrote Casino Royale. We still enjoy every 007 movie, regardless how badly they are made.


16. Julia Child, the celebrity chef who made French cuisine popular


Julia Child surprisingly didn’t learn to cook until when she was in her thirties. She published her first cookbook when she was 50, and got her first television show when she was 51.


17. Peter Roget, the creator of the world’s first thesaurus


When you type in a word in Google to know its meaning and synonyms, you need to thank Roget, because he invented the first list of all the words and their synonyms which eventually became the Thesaurus. He was 73 at the time.


18. Kathryn Joosten, the double Emmy award winning actress


Kathryn Joosten won her first Emmy award when she was 56. She started acting in television in her 40s after a brutal divorce and after she gave up her promising nursing career for her marriage.


19. Charles Darwin, the scientist who gave us the theory of evolution


Charles Darwin was 50 when he wrote the paper – On The Origin Of Species, which became the textbook of evolution.


20. Steve Carell, one of the best actors to ever work in television


Steve Carell was 43 when he first got his popular role in the movie The 40 Year Old Virgin.


21. John Pemberton, the inventor of Coca-Cola


Joh Pemberton was 55 when he came up with the unique flavor of the most popular soft drink in the world.


22. Nelson Mandela, the man who brought an end to the apartheid in South Africa


Nelson Mandela was 76 when he finally got to be the president.


23. Abraham Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln became the President when he was 51, after losing elections multiple times.


24. Suzanne Collins, the author of The Hunger Games


Suzanne Collins was 46 when she wrote the beloved Young Adult trilogy The Hunger Games.

Don’t be bound by imaginary rules and landmarks society sets on our lives. The goals we set out to achieve are ours and ours only. Maybe the goals are too big to be achieved in a few years. Maybe you need some work on yourself before you set out to pursue it.

No matter what, and no matter what your age, success goals should not be pursued in tight deadlines.

As every person on this list demonstrates, if you keep going at it with your teeth dug in like a bulldog, you will eventually get it.

It is only a matter of time. And obviously – hard work.


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