20 People Who Did Great Things After Fifty 

Matthew Cole Weiss
Updated June 18, 2020 2.9k votes 716 voters 57.7k views 20 items

List Rules Vote for the most incredible accomplishments of people after they turned 50.

Many people feel that by the age of 50, they have done everything they should in life. But, in reality, being "over the hill" is only a state of mind. In fact, many people have accomplished amazing things after they turned 50, things that many people half their age couldn't even do. What have people accomplished after turning 50? What kinds of great accomplishments, inventions, and notable feats have older people done?

Whether it's brought about by a mid-life crisis or circumstances that had prevented them from going after their dreams before, these people did not let the failing of the body or the troubles of aging stop them from accomplishing great feats.

Climbing mountains, finishing marathons, inventing new gadgets, winning awards, going into outer space - these individuals have done it all. So don't count these senior citizens out just yet!

Gladys Burrill Ran a Marathon, at Age 92
Ranker Video
Video: YouTube

Burrill earned the Guinness Book of World Records record as the oldest female to complete a marathon. At age 92, she finished the race, which took place in Honolulu, in nine hours, 53 minutes and 16 seconds. It was her fifth Honolulu finish in seven years.

Is this incredible?
Teiichi Igarashi Climbed... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 People Who Did Great Things After Fifty
Photo: flickr/CC0
Teiichi Igarashi Climbed Mt. Fuji, at Age 100

In 1987, Teiichi Igarashi, a former lumberjack who had been climbing Mt. Fuji every year since he was 89 years old, became the first centenarian to climb Japan's tallest mountain. Igarashi attributed his accomplishment to eating raw eggs and all the encouragement he received from his supporters.

Is this incredible?
William Ivy Baldwin Tightrope Walked Across a Canyon, at Age 82

On July 31, 1948, his 82nd birthday, tightrope walker William Ivy Baldwin did his last walk over a canyon in Eldorado Springs in Colorado. He made his first walk there in 1907 and did it 88 times until his final endeavor.

Baldwin’s daughter strung a special wire for his final walk.

Is this incredible?
John Glenn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 People Who Did Great Things After Fifty
Photo:  NASA/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

The first American to orbit the Earth, John Glenn made history again when, at the age of 77, he became the oldest person to travel in space. He rode the space shuttle Discovery, and, over the course of nine days, the shuttle orbited Earth 134 times

Glenn served as payload specialist, participating in various experiments to test how his 77-year-old body responded to the weightless environment.

Is this incredible?

More John Glenn 

#812 of 2,444 The Most Influential People of All Time #27 of 438 The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History #54 of 66 The Most Influential People of the Cold War