If you ever thought that maybe you made the wrong decision when you started your career, but that you are too old to change that now, think again. Here are some examples of people over fifty years old who decided to take heart and improve their lives, and thus become people who successfully changed their careers. Some of them had certain resources, while others had marvelous ideas or pure luck.
1. Ronald Reagan
The famous president is the first in our top people who successfully changed their careers. Reagan started as a well-known actor, and later on became the spokesman for General Electric and the president of the Screen Actors Guild. However, it was only when he reached 55 years old in 1966 that he was elected as governor of California. This led Reagan to become the oldest elected president in 1981, and the rest is history.
2. Jack Cover
A nuclear physicist, Jack Cover worked in defense and aerospace. One of his most important roles has been to supply parts for the Apollo project from NASA. Sometime in 1970, when he was 50 years old, Cover started a new project aiming to create a weapon that would incapacitate enemies without killing them. Thus, he ended up creating the Taser, which has become extremely useful for all police departments. By 2009, Cover’s device was used in more than 45 countries.
3. Edmond Hoyle
Hoyle is not necessarily one of the people who successfully changed their careers, but one who started late. Well-known for A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist, Hoyle is the first writer in the world who documented the rules of different games of cards. The Englishman was 70 years old when he started writing, and continued to do so for the rest 27 years of his life.
4. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Prabhupada is the founder of Hare Krishna movement. However, before starting the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, he had the most unlikely professions: Sanskrit scholar and chemist. Born in Calcutta, Prabhupada moved to New York in 1965 to share the teachings of Lord Krishna with the whole world. He was 69 years old when he started this endeavor and managed to gather countless followers.
5. Grandma Moses
Grandma Moses, otherwise known as Anna Mary Robertson Moses, was passionate about embroidery. Unfortunately, she had to give it up at 76 years old because of her arthritis. However, she was determined to continue her art one way or another, so she started painting. Grandma Moses lived for another 25 years and witnessed her canvases become valued at more than $10,000 each.
6. Taikichiro Mori
Among the people who successfully changed their careers we can also find Taikichiro Mori. A Japanese economics professor, he decided to leave his job when he was 55 years old. In 1959 he became a real estate investor, mostly because he had inherited some buildings from his father. Mori invested in the Minato ward and this lead to him becoming the most successful man in the real estate field. Even though he was ranked as the world’s richest man twice by Forbes, Mori remained modest and was never comfortable with the fortune and fame gained from his second career.
7. Tim Zagat
Tim Zagat was a corporate lawyer, but that did not stop him from designing restaurant guides and surveys. He left his job at Gulf & Western when he was 51 years of age. In 1986 he begun managing the business. Today, the guide is also available online, and has been bought by Google in 2011.
8. Nina Zagat
Tim was helped by his wife Nina in this endeavor. Together, they collected and analyzed ratings of various restaurants. They started in New York, but in 2005 the guide included more than 70 cities and other businesses as well: hotels, zoos, theaters, airlines, nightlife, movies, music and shopping.
9. Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder was 65 years old when she published her first novel. Her Little House on the Prairie has become one of the most beloved books for children in the world. Wilder has written twelve more books, some of which were published posthumously.
10. Colonel Sanders
Last but not least, one of the people who successfully changed their careers is the creator of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Harland Sanders owned a motel and restaurant on U.S. 25 in Corbin, Kentucky. Business was going well until Interstate 75 opened close to his restaurant, and thus he was faced with the possibility of going broke. Fortunately, the Colonel managed to perfect his quick cooking technique and spice blend to create the famous type of fried chicken in 1952. Harland Sanders became the famous figure we know today at 65 years old.