January 24th, 2011

Case Studies: Three Women Over 50 Who Changed the World

Still not convinced that women over 50 can change the world? Well, let me tell you—the Baby Boom generation is not the first generation to see pioneering, strong women over 50 make a huge impact.

Let’s just take a look at some earlier women over 50 who have changed people’s worlds:

Some of us who are over 50 today remember Eleanor Roosevelt. True, she rose to prominence at first because of her husband. But Eleanor Roosevelt started really finding herself when she was in her 40’s, before Franklin’s first run for the presidency. Once he was in office, she got active—writing daily newspaper columns, acting as a messenger between the administration and the people she was trying to help get through the Great Depression.

Roosevelt didn’t stop after the White House, either, serving the United Nations and working on the causes she believed in for roughly 15 years after Franklin Roosevelt’s death.

If you’ve ever been a mystery lover, you’ve read Agatha Christie. Christie didn’t start writing until she was in her 40s, but as her career went on, she did some of her very best work in her 50s. Christie’s characters are still some of the best known in fiction today.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross may have writing On Death and Dying when she was 43, but the fact is that she didn’t stop there. In an interview in July of 1992, Kubler-Ross estimated that she had instructed more than 125,000 students in death and dying and working with terminally ill patients and their families. Well into her elder years, Kubler-Ross attempted to open a home for children who were dying with AIDS, but residents in her Virginia town blocked the necessary zoning. In this way, Kubler Ross, at well over 50, contributed to more enlightened attitudes toward people living and dying with AIDS.

Granted, all of these women over 50 were impressive from the start. But so are you. How do you want to let your light shine on the world now that you’re in your 50s?

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