In the modern world, we tend to believe that if you haven’t made it by the age of 30, you’re never going to make it. However, that isn’t always the case. There are many well-known public figures who didn’t achieve fame until later life but ended up breaking barriers and gaining notoriety for their success in their autumn years. Here are eight of the most inspiring elderlies that history has to offer, proving you’re never too old to succeed.

1. Laura Ingalls Wilder

Although the Little House on the Prairie books have become classics of children’s literature, it may surprise many readers to learn that their author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, didn’t pen these famous novels until the age of 65. Her works quickly rose in popularity and even inspired a TV series of the same name.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

2. Colonel Harland Sanders

The legacy of this fast food genius can be found everywhere as his chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken, has almost 20,000 outlets across the globe. The Colonel established his business at the ripe old age of 65, and nine years later he sold his share for a profit of $2 million. Today, his image appears on family buckets everywhere, ensuring his success will never be forgotten.
3. Estelle Getty

After a failed career as an actress, Estelle Getty suddenly shot to fame at the age of 63 when The Golden Girls became an overnight success in America and the UK. Running for seven years, the show made the performer an instant celebrity and catapulted her into the annals of TV history.


4. Fauja Singh

An inspiring tale of later life athletic success, Fauja Singh ran his first ever marathon at 89 years old. Spurred on to greater heights, he entered the record books as the oldest man to ever run a marathon when he competed at the Toronto Waterfront at the age of 100.


5. Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt’s award-winning novel Angela’s Ashes was published in 1996, when the author was 66 years old. The novel sold an amazing five million copies and netted the writer four accolades, including the coveted Pulitzer Prize.


6. Peter Roget

Every school child will be familiar with Peter Roget’s Thesaurus and every writer will have used it countless times to find the perfect word to complete their sentence, yet very few people will be aware that he didn’t even put pen to paper on this mammoth project until he was 61.


7. Grandma Moses

Artist Anna Mary Robertson Moses didn’t begin her painting career until the age of 78, when her arthritic fingers made it difficult for her to continue her hobby of embroidery. Her works of art depicting rural New England life were displayed in her first solo exhibition when she was 80 years old.


8. Mary Delaney

The 18th century English Bluestocking did not become well-known for her amazingly accurate decoupage flowers until she had reached the age of 72. Today, her works are exhibited in famous galleries and in the British Museum.

MaryDFeel inspired to follow suit in the success of these esteemed achievers by honing your own skills or developing new ones today via our skill-share and community courses hub created for our Breaking Barriers campaign today!