Recently I ran across this article about late bloomers, people who had not found their calling until after age 30. As a late bloomer myself, I found it intriguing. So I thought I’d do a little research and create a short list of people who did their “blooming” after age 50.
Late bloomers may be unclear about their career paths when young, but they go on to either (1) discover their talents later in life or (2) finally take a chance on pursuing an old dream.
As I look at this list, it strikes me that many of the people on it lived to be quite old. Could it be that pursuing your passions later in life is also good for your health and longevity?
Late Bloomers After 50
Colonel Harland Sanders – started the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise at age 65.
Grandma Moses – began painting at 76, after arthritis forced her to give up embroidery. She continued painting until 101.
Julia Child – became a chef after many years as a secret intelligence officer. She was 49 when her first book was published, 51 when her TV program “The French Chef” first aired.
Ray Kroc – went from being a salesman to opening the first McDonalds at age 52.
Raymond Chandler – became a bookkeeper after an unsuccessful career in journalism. Published his first book, The Big Sleep, at the age of 51.
Sister Marion Irvine – started running at age 47, when she was overweight and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Went on to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials at age 54.
Marjorie Stoneman Douglas – began her environmental work when in her 60s. Started her long fight to protect the Everglades at age 78, which she continued until she was 100.
Laura Ingalls Wilder – published the first book in the “Little House on the Prairie” series at 65.
Wallace Stevens – changed his career from insurance salesman to poet in his 50s.
Maya Angelou – was in her 60s when her poetry and books became popular.
Alfred Hitchcock – directed his best films between the ages of 54 and 61.
Susan Boyle – achieved worldwide recognition for her singing talent at age 48 (almost 50).
And of course there are others who may have always known their calling, but who continued producing some of their best work into their 80’s and beyond. People like Picasso, Tolstoy, Goethe, Michelangelo, DaVinci, and Benjamin Franklin, to name just a few.
Do you count yourself among the late bloomers?