Does Age Really Matter? (When It Comes to Your Life’s Purpose)

does age really matter when the clock is ticking

A short list of people who accomplished great things at different ages. At the end of your reading, if you feel motivated to take actions and take charge of your life, please share this list with atleast 1 friend who you think needs to read this.

At 19 months, Helen Keller became deaf and blind. But that didn’t stop her. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

At 1, Christian Friedrich Heinecken, the legendary child prodigy, had read the first five books of the Bible.

At 2, speed skater Bonnie Blair began skating. She would go on to win five Olympic gold medals.

At 3, Wolfgang Mozart taught himself to play the harpsichord.

At 4, Brazilian Formula One race car driver Ayrton Senna da Silva began driving.

At 5, Yo-Yo Ma, world-famous cellist, began playing “Suites for Unaccompanied Cello” before bed each evening.

At 5, Mozart was already competent on keyboard and violin; he started composing original music.

At 6, Willie Hoppe, the greatest billiards player in history, began to play pool. He had to stand on a box to reach the table. In his lifetime, Hoppe won 51 world titles. He was ranked number 1 on the Billiards Digest 50 Greatest Players of the Century.

At 6, Shirley Temple became a movie star on “Bright Eyes.”

At 7, English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill had mastered Greek.

At 8, three-time Olympic gold medal runner Wilma Rudolph took her first step after suffering from polio as a child.

At 9, Daisy Ashford wrote her bestselling novel, “The Young Visiters.” It sold over 200,000 copies.

At 10, Vinay Bhat became the youngest chess master in the world.

At 11, pilot Victoria Van Meter became the youngest girl to fly across the United States.

At 12, Carl von Clausewitz, general and writer of “On War,” joined the Prussian army.

At 12, Anne Frank wrote the her famous “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

At 13, actress, director and producer Jodie Foster wrote and directed a short movie called The Hands of Time.

At 13, Magnus Carlsen became a chess Grandmaster.

At 14, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci became the first athlete in Olympic history to achieve a perfect 10 seven times.

At 15, Swedish tennis star Bjorn Borg dropped out of school to concentrate on tennis.

At 15, Tenzin Gyatso was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama. He assumed all responsibilities of being the leader of Tibetan people.

At 16, American sharpshooter Annie Oakley challenged and defeated the well-known marksman Frank Butler by hitting a dime in midair from 90 feet.

At 17, soccer legend Pele won the World Cup for Brazil and then passed out on the field. Pele, a soccer superstar, was 17 years old when he won the world cup in 1958 with Brazil.

At 18, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel proved that it was impossible to solve the general equation of fifth degree by algebraic means.

At 19, Abner Doubleday devised the rules for baseball.

At 19, Elvis was a superstar.

At 20, Charles Lindbergh learned to fly.

At 20, John Lennon (and the Beatles) had their first concert in 1961.

At 21, Thomas Edison created his first invention, an electric vote recorder.

At 21, Geroge R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones sold his first science fiction short stories in 1970.

At 22, Olympic runner Herbert James Elliott, one of the greatest mile runners ever, retired undefeated.

At 22, Jesse Owens won 4 gold medals in Berlin 1936.

At 23, English poet Jane Taylor wrote “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

At 23, Aryabhata authored of his famous treatises on mathematics and astronomy in 499 AD.

At 23, Beethoven was a piano virtuoso.

At 24, Ted Turner took over his father’s billboard advertising business. He later launched cable news network CNN.

At 24, Issac Newton wrote Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

At 24, Evan Spiegel, CEO and co-founder of Snapchat, a photo-messaging app, became one of the world’s youngest billionaires.

At 25, Janis Joplin made her first recording, “Cheap Thrills,” which grossed over $1 million within a few months.

At 25, Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile record.

At 26, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel in space.

At 26, Albert Einstein wrote the theory of relativity.

At 27, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. left his job at General Electric to become a full-time writer.

At 27, Lance E. Armstrong won the tour de France.

At 28, Jamaican reggae composer/performer Bob Marley recorded “I Shot the Sheriff.”

By 28, Michelangelo created two of the greatest sculptures “David” and “Pieta”.

At 29, Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first complete sentence by telephone.

By age 29, Alexander the Great had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world.

At 30, physicist Armand Fizeau measured the speed of light.

At 30, Elizabeth Holmes, became the richest self-made female billionaire. Holmes founded a blood-testing company, Theranos, in 2003.

At 30, Dustin Moskovitz became billionaire along with Mark Zuckerberg while working on early stages of Facebook. His current net worth is over 8 billion dollars.

At 30, J.K. Rowling finished the first manuscript of Harry Potter. She later became the first billionaire author ever.

At 30, Salil Jha published his debut poetry collection “Naked Soul: The Erotic Love Poems.” In 2014 he started The Naked Soul Blog and Podcast. 

At 31, French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion deciphered the Rosetta stone.

At 31, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

At 32, Alexander the Great had conquered almost the entire known world.

At 32, Oprah started her talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind.

At 33, Walter Nilsson rode across the United States on an 8-ft. unicycle.

At 33, Edmund Hillary became the first man to reach Mount Everest.

At 34, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry, wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

At 34, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the speech “I Have a Dream.”

At 35, Sir Frederick William Herschel, an English astronomer, invented the contact lens.

At 35, Marie Curie got nominated and won the Nobel Prize in Physics. She won another Nobel Prize in Chemistry at age 43.

At 36, Barthelemy Thimonnier developed the world’s first practical sewing machine.

At 37, Jersey Joe Walcott became the oldest man ever to win the world heavyweight boxing title.

At 37, Vincent Van Gogh died virtually unknown, yet his paintings today are worth millions.

At 38, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon.

At 39, Sharon Sites Adams became the first woman to sail alone across the Pacific Ocean.

At 40, Jo Pavey won the European 10,000m gold medal.

At 40, Mark Twain wrote the bestseller “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Later at age 49 he wrote his second most popular work “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

At 41, Rudyard Kipling became the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate in literature.

At 41, Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas.

At 42, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest regular NBA player.

At 42, Rosa Parks refused to obey the bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. This became the turning point in Civil rights movement in the America.

At 43, John F. Kennedy became the youngest president elected to office of the United States.

At 44, George Washington crossed the Delaware River and captured Trenton, NJ.

At 45, Andre Marie Ampere, a French physicist, discovered the rules relating magnetic fields and electric currents.

At 45, Henry Ford launched the Ford T model. This made him one of the greatest businessman in America.

At 46, Suzanne Collins wrote the bestselling “The Hunger Games”. The books were later made into Hollywood movies.

At 47, Kent Couch attached 105 helium balloons to a lawn chair and flew 193 miles.

At 47, Barack Obama became the first African American president in the US.

At 48, Umberto Eco, a professor of semiotics, wrote his first novel, “The Name of the Rose.”

At 49, Julia Child published her book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

At 50, P.L. Guinand, a Swiss inventor, patented a new method for making optical glass.

At 50, Charles Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” came out. As we all know, this book changed the course of science forever.

At 51, Marquis de Sade, imprisoned for much of his life, wrote the novel “Justine.”

At 51, Leonardo Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa.

At 52, Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world alone in a 53-foot boat normally manned by a crew of six.

At 52, Abraham Lincoln became president.

At 53, Walter Hunt, an inventor, patented the safety pin.

At 53, Ray Kroc bought the McDonalds Franchise and turned it into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

At 54, Annie Jump Cannon became the first astronomer to classify the stars according to spectral type.

At 55, Pablo Picasso completed his masterpiece, “Guernica.”

At 54, Dr. Seuss wrote his most popular work “The Cat in the Hat”.

At 56, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China.

At 57, Frank Dobesh competed in his first 100-mile bicycle ride — exactly 10 years after he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

At 57, Chesley Sullenberger III was successfully ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009. All of the 155 passengers aboard the aircraft survived

At 58, Sony chairman Akio Morita introduced the Sony Walkman, an idea no one seemed to like at the time.

At 59, Satchel Paige became the oldest Major League baseball player.

At 60, playwright and essayist George Bernard Shaw finished writing “Heartbreak House,” regarded by many as his masterpiece.

At 61, Charles Cagniard de la Tour, a French doctor, demonstrated that fermentation depends upon yeast cells.

At 61, Colonel Harland Sanders started the KFC Franchise. KFC would later become a multi-billion dollar multi-national enterprise.

At 62, J.R.R. Tolkien published the first volume of his fantasy series, “Lord of the Rings.” J.R.R Tolkien was 62 when the Lord of the Ring books came out.

At 63, John Dryden undertook the enormous task of translating the entire works of Virgil into English verse.

At 64, Thomas Bowdler “bowdlerized” Shakespeare’s works, making them “family friendly.”

At 65, jazz musician Miles Davis defiantly performed his final live album, just weeks before he died.

At 66, Noah Webster completed his monumental “American Dictionary of the English Language.”

At 67, Simeon Poisson discovered the laws of probability after studying the likelihood of death from mule kicks in the French army.

At 68, the English experimentalist Sir William Crookes began investigating radioactivity and invented a device for detecting alpha particles.

At 69, Canadian Ed Whitlock of Milton, Ontario, Canada, became the oldest person to run a standard marathon in under three hours (2:52:47).

At 69, Ginette Bedard, ran her first marathon. At 72 she beat the world record for her age group by finishing in 3:46. Since then she has been running a full marathon each year. She is 81 and just finished her 12th marathon.

At 70, Cornelius Vanderbilt began buying railroads.

At 70, Jack Lalane performed a feat never seen before. He was handcuffed and shackled before he towed 70 rowboats.

At 71, Katsusuke Yanagisawa, a retired Japanese schoolteacher, became the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.

At 71, Lord Palmerston became the oldest person to become PM. Born in 1784, he entered the House of Commons at the age of 23. For 20 years he was a junior minister in a Tory government before changing parties, becoming the most successful Whig Foreign Secretary and finally the Prime Minister in 1855.

At 72, Margaret Ringenberg flew around the world.

At 73, Larry King celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.

At 74, Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps began an attempt to construct the Suez Canal.

At 75, cancer survivor Barbara Hillary became one of the oldest people, and the first black woman, to reach the North Pole.

At 76, Arthur Miller unveiled a bold new play, “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan,” free of the world-weary tone of his previous works.

At 76, Nelson Mandela became President. Before becoming the President he was imprisoned for over 20 years. 

At 77, John Glenn became the oldest person to go into space.

At 78, Chevalier de Lamarck proposed a new theory of the evolutionary process, claiming that acquired characteristics can be transmitted to offspring.

At 78, Anna Mary Robertson Moses began painting. She is often cited as an example of an individual successfully beginning a career in the arts at an advanced age. Her works have been shown and sold in the United States and abroad and have been marketed on greeting cards and other merchandise. Moses’ paintings are among the collections of many museums. One of her painting, The Sugaring Off was sold for US$1.2 million in 2006.

At 79, Asa Long became the oldest U.S. checkers champion.

At 80, Jessica Tandy became the oldest female Oscar winner.

At 81, Bill Painter became the oldest person to reach the 14,411-foot summit of Mt. Rainier.

At 82, William Ivy Baldwin became the oldest tightrope walker, crossing the South Boulder Canyon in Colorado on a 320-foot wire.

At 82, Christopher Plummer became the oldest male Oscar winner.

At 83, famed baby doctor Benjamin Spock championed for world peace.

At 84, W. Somerset Maugham wrote “Points of View.”

At 85, Theodor Mommsen became the oldest person to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature.

At 86, Katherine Pelton swam the 200-meter butterfly in 3 minutes, 1.14 seconds, beating the men’s world record for that age group by over 20 seconds.

At 87, Mary Baker Eddy founded the Christian Science Monitor.

At 88, Michelangelo created the architectural plans for the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

At 89, Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch became the oldest person to go to the North Pole.

At 90, Marc Chagall became the first living artist to be exhibited at the Louvre museum.

At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New England.

At 92, Paul Spangler finished his 14th marathon.

At 92, Gladys Burrill from Hawaii became the oldest woman to complete a marathon.

At 93, P.G. Wodehouse worked on his 97th novel and he was knighted the same year. Unfortunately he also died the same year.

At 94, comedian George Burns performed in Schenectady, NY, 63 years after his first performance there.

At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma.

At 95, the late Lord Renton became the oldest person to pass a driving test in 2003.

At 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, “The Invisible Wall,” three years after he started writing to cope with loneliness after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, passed away.

At 97, Martin Miller was still working fulltime as a lobbyist on behalf of benefits for seniors.

At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramist, exhibited her latest work.

At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji.

At 100, Bertha Wood, had her first book, “Fresh Air and Fun: The Story of a Blackpool Holiday Camp” was published on her 100th birthday. The book is based on her memoirs, which she began writing at the age of 90.

At 103, Albert Jean Amateau, Turkish rabbi and social activist helped found the American Society of Jewish Friends of Turkey and was named as its president.

At 108, Shivakumara Swami received Padma Bhushana in 2015, the highest award granted from the Government of India for social service and humanitarian work.

At 116, Susannah Mushatt Jones (born in 1899) is the world’s oldest living person. She has received tributes from the United States House of Representatives and from the Alabama House of Representatives “for a remarkable lifetime of exceptional achievement lived during three centuries.” She has lived during the 19th, 20th and 21st century.

At 122, Jeanne Calment from France became the verified oldest human being ever to live in 1997 (the year of her death).



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Comment if you think I should add someone I have missed and is worthy of a note? Also, tell me what YOU are doing at your current age to actualize your dreams? The first 10 commenters are always my favorite.


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