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5 Famous Late Bloomers Who Didn’t Get Their Dream Job Until After 40


We live in a culture that’s obsessed with youth, even though experience only comes with age. If you’re feeling a little blue about leaving the wunderkind years, keep this in mind: many of the world’s most talented and famous folks didn’t find their calling until later in life.

late bloomer 

(Photo Credit: a2gemma/Flickr)

1. Raymond Chandler

Do You Know What You're Worth?

After losing his job as an oil executive, Chandler decided to become an author of detective fiction — at age 44. He published short stories in pulp magazines like Black Mask, before writing The Big Sleep. The book came out when he was 51.

2. Ray Kroc

The founder of McDonald’s was 52 when he met Maurice and Richard McDonald, whose San Bernadino drive-in featured a unique focus on speed. Prior to that, Kroc was an ambulance driver in World War I, a DJ, and a paper cup salesman.

3. Grandma Moses

Sometimes, career inspiration comes from making lemonade out of lemons. For example, Grandma Moses, who started painting at age 75, after her arthritis made it too difficult to do needlepoint.

4. William Griffith Wilson

Better known as Bill W., Wilson wrote the book that laid the foundation for the program Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization he co-founded. He was 43 years old.

5. Oscar Swahn

At 60 years old, Swahn, a Swedish shooter, won two gold medals in single shot events at the 1908 Summer Olympics, making him the second oldest Olympian ever at that time. (The oldest was Joshua Millner, a British shooter who won a gold medal at the same games.) Not to be outdone, Swahn competed in the 1912 games, and again won a gold. Sixty-four years old at the time of his win, he remains the oldest gold medalist ever.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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