Life Begins at.........

the young Mr Forsyth at Glastonbury
the young Mr Forsyth at Glastonbury

When do you get to that point in your life that you think you are too old to accomplish anything of lasting importance? As we approach Easter, I wish to celebrate the fact that age need not be a barrier to achieving great deeds…

Rachel Carson is the godmother of the environmental movement Greenpeace. Her book Silent Spring which is regarded as a landmark publication in the movement’s history was published when she was 55.

Edgar Rice Burroughs is famous for having created Tarzan and a number of other sci-fi novels. What is less well known is that Edgar Rice Burroughs was also a war correspondent during World War II. As a 66 year old, he regularly reported on action from his base in the South Pacific.

Jessica Tandy was 80 when she won her Best Actress Oscar for Driving Miss Daisy in 2010. The American painter Grandma Moses on the other hand, did not get her first exhibition until she had reached that same age.  Having said that, she only picked up brushes & paints for the first time when she was 75.

Barbara McLintock is one of the most important figures in the history of genetics. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine at the age of 81.

Mother Teresa was 69 when in 1979 her tireless endeavours in India and 120 other countries across the globe with the Missionaries of Charity order were acknowledged with a Nobel Peace Prize.

In 2008, the picture Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas (Water Lilly Pond) was sold at auction for £40.9m. It was painted by the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. He was 79 when he painted the picture in 1919 and he was still painting regularly until his death 7 years later.

Winston Churchill is roundly feted for his achievements as PM during WWII.  He was also re-elected to the post in 1951 at the age of 77.

No less impressive is the fact that Golda Meir became the first female Prime Minister of Israel at the age of 70, eventually resigning 5 years later.

Finally, nearer to home, the irrepressible Sir Bruce Forsyth was ‘getting down with the kids’ at 2013’s Glastonbury Festival.  This up and coming entertainer was only 87 at the time!! 


Philip Keohane is a regular contributor to Xn Magazine

Mother Teresa
Mother Teresa