12 Women who achieved success after age 40 -- and beyond.

after 40 success women

3 minute read 

Betty White

Achieved iconic success at age 51 when she joined the Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1973 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Published her first "Little House on the Prairie" book in 1932 when she was age 65 

Martha Stewart

Achieved real success at age 41 when she published her first book, Entertaining. 

Vera Wang

Her wedding in 1989 at age 40 was the beginning of her success when she decided she wanted to become a designer, opening her first bridal boutique the following year.

 Nina Zagat

Along with her husband, Tim, when they both turned 42, they gave up their legal careers to write their first restaurant guides. Their company is part of Google now.

 Robin Chase

At age 40 in 2000, Robin was taking some time off work to be with her children when she and her friend, Antje Danielson, came up with the car-sharing company, Zip Car.

 Julia Child

Julia didn’t publish her first cookbook until age 39; then, at age 51, she made her television debut as The French Chef.

 Anna Mary Robertson

Known as “Grandma Moses,” Anna Mary was an entirely self-taught artist who didn’t achieve success until she was in her 70’s when an art collector saw her paintings and bought them all. A year later, her work was on exhibit with other unknown artists at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

 Katherine Bigelow

Finally achieved widespread recognition at age 57 with the movie "The Hurt Locker".

 Mother Theresa

At age 40, left everything she knew to live in India and establish the Missionaries of Charity.

 Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn followed her dream to become an actress at age 40; she has since earned two Emmy's

 Susan Boyle

At age 48, Susan Boyle sang professionally for the first time when she debuted on the British show "Britain's Got Talent" in 2009. Her debut album broke global sales records in the female vocalist category.