Entrepreneurs Who Succeeded Late In Life

I like to read about people who made it big, later on. Guys like the founder of Walmart, Colonel Sanders (started his fried chicken empire after 50), William C. Durant (made and lost several fortunes, was planning a chain of bowling alleys while in his 80’s).
I’m still waiting for MY ship to come in…so, are there any good studies about people who succeeded in business after age 50?
Gotta get back to the workbench-I have a few inventions I’m working on!

There’s Ray Kroc, who was a traveling salesman most of his life, selling things like paper cups and milkshake mixers. Then he got a large order from some burger dive in San Bernardino called McDonald’s…

Sam Walton was 44 when WalMart was founded.

Paula Deen opened her 1st restaurant when she was 49 and published her first cookbook at 50.

PT Barnum was 61 when he entered the circus business. Of course, he’d been a succesful promoter before that.

I was going to add Dave Thomas to the list of fast-food kings who started late, but I discovered to my surprise that he was only 37 when he opened the first Wendy’s. And the chain had gone national when he was still in his 40’s. He didn’t become well-known until he started doing commercials in his 60’s (and he looked even older), but I guess I can’t add him to the list.

Sydney Greenstreet made his first movie at age 62, The Maltese Falcon (1941).

There will be a lot of them. Early entrepreneurial success is kind of a modern internet age phenomena. It wasn’t impossible before, but having the means and know-how to start a successful business used to be much more difficult to acquire for the young.

There are a lot of actors, musicians, and comics that have started late in life. I think the OP is specifically looking for entrepreneurs.

It depends on what “early” is. James J. Hill had a steamboat monopoly by the time his was 41. He’s known as a railroad baron - most of that came in his 50s. Another railroad baron, Cornelius Vanderbuilt, also had a steamboat monopoly by 40. Carnegie had $40,000 to invest in 1863 into oil (he is known for steel) - he was 29 and had started as a bobbin factory worker.

I’ll give Carnegie credit for ‘early’ at 29. But 40 and over isn’t that young.

Starting a company and having a monopoly in that business are two very different things.

Colonel Sanders was 65 years old and flat broke after a new highway bypassed his gas station / restaurant, causing it to fail. He started Kentucky Fried chicken with his first Social Security check of $105.

Col Sanders on “I’ve Got a Secret”