Thursday, May 18, 2006

Are you a late starter?

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1703 The death of Charles Perrault (b. 1628), the French writer who gave us such classic fairy tales as Cinderella and Tom Thumb. He published them in 1697 at the age of 69, not under his own name but that of his infant son, Perrault d’Armancourt.

It's also the birthday of Lord Bertrand Russell who called for the abolition of war and remained a prominent peace activist for many years. He was born in 1872 and published his three-volume autobiography in the late 1960s. While he grew frail, he remained lucid until the end.

Are you a late starter? Other late starters and late achievers in the Scriptorium

Here are some samples from that page:

F Murray Abraham: got his first decent role (Amadeus, for which he won an Oscar) at 45;
Frank Lloyd Wright: created New York's amazing Guggenheim Museum when he was 80;
Grandma Moses was 78 when she began painting, almost 100 when she found fame and fortune;
Jiddu Krishnamurti: no late starter, but his career as a teacher of philosophy continued well into his eighties;
Mother Jones (‘the Miners’ Angel’: ‘the greatest woman agitator of our times’), Irish-American anti-war activist and labor radical; at 37 years of age she became active in the union movement following the death of her husband and was active for many of the next 63 years;
Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence at the age of 70;
Aged 82, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe finished writing Faust;
George Burns worked almost right to his death at 100 years of age, and won an Oscar at 80 for his role in The Sunshine Boys;
Daisy Bates began her life's work at about 36 when she went into the Australian desert to work among tribal Aborigines, and worked into old age;
By the time Canadian-born American economist John Kenneth Galbraith was in his mid-90s, he had sold 8 million books and been awarded 52 honorary doctorates, and was still writing;
American progressive political activist Granny Haddock (Granny D) didn't know that in her nineties she was supposed to stop helping to change the world. She's still doing it!

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