9 Inspiring People Who Made Big Changes Late in Life

There are some people who realize what they want to do early on in life, and stick with it until the bitter end. Then there are others who are more realistic – those who accept that life throws you curveballs, and the best way to handle them is to adapt. Here are a few people who made major changes later in life, and came out all the better for trying something new.

Tim and Nina Zagat

Tim and Nina Zagat are the masterminds behind the Zagat restaurant rating guide. It revolutionized the way that restaurants are rated — measuring them on a few different point scales, summarizing the ratings with a short paragraph at the end.

The Zagats met at the Yale School of Law and graduated in 1966. They practiced law for almost 20 years before coming up with the idea of a restaurant ratings handbook together. After moving to Paris, they worked out the kinks of their rating system by reviewing all of their favorite restaurants together. When they moved back to the States, they released their first Zagat book using their personal rating system on their favorite restaurants in New York City.

Grandma Moses

Grandma Moses is a famous American folk artist who didn’t even pick up a paintbrush until she was 78 years old! Although she was interested in embroidery, quilting, and other handiwork her whole life, she only took up painting when her hands became too painful with arthritis to hold a needle and thread.

Her paintings are renowned throughout the States and all around the world because of her simple and direct style. The primary subject of her paintings is rural American farm life — she entirely omitted new inventions like telephone poles and cars from her work, preferring to paint the world as she remembered it from her youth.

Roger Higgins / Library of Congress
Roger Higgins / Library of Congress

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan had a successful career as an actor before going into politics. From the 1930s to 1960s, Reagan worked as a radio announcer before taking a 7-year contract with Warner Brothers Studios that saw him work primarily in B-films until he was offered his first on-screen credit in a 1937 movie called Love is on the Air.

Reagan began his career in politics in 1948, and although he was always active on the sidelines, he didn’t step into the spotlight until 1964. From there, it was only 3 years until he was elected as Governor of California, and finally, President of the United States in 1981.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
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