The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield re-entered comedy from a job selling aluminum siding. He was in his late 40s when he became a star. Raymond Chandler’s first novel, The Big Sleep, was published when he was 51. He’d been writing detective fiction for seven years, having lost his job as an oil company executive. Tim Zagat started Zagat’s, the ubiquitous guide to dining and much else, when he was 51. Peg Phillips, best known for portraying a shopkeeper in the TV series “Northern Exposure,” was twice-divorced with three grown children and a two-pack a day habit, when having survived a brutal battle with polio, she became a professional actress in her late 60s. Peter Roget’s invention, the Thesaurus, came out when he was 73.
Ray Kroc was a milkshake salesman in his 50s when he bought the small hamburger joint from the McDonald brothers. Grandma Moses started to paint when she was 75. The average life expectancy in the US is almost 80 years and rising.