Up-STARTS and the START-Ups They DARED
Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927): DARED Start the Girl Scouts at 52. Today there are 3.7 million members in the United States, and in more than 90 countries. Famous Girl Scouts include: Elizabeth Dole, Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Billie Jean King, Mary Tyler Moore, Candice Bergen and Fergie.
Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957): DARE Started writing at 65 years old, basing her stories on her life as a wilderness pioneer, wife and mother. At 68, wrote Little House on the Prairie, which led to the successful series of books and the popular network TV show that ran for nine years.
Betty Smith (1896-1972): Wrote her first novel when she was 47 years old, after postponing her education to put her husband through law school and raise their children. It was the beloved classic, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, the family saga that inspired thousands of other writers.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964): A marine biologist and nature writer, was 55 when she wrote the landmark book Silent Spring, the first vocal criticism of the U.S.’s policy on pesticides. It led to a nationwide ban on dangerous pesticides, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Julia Child (1912-2004): Introduced to French cooking by her husband, she was 49 when she published her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. TV’s first celebrity chef, she is still revered and loved by professional chefs and amateur cooks throughout the world.
Mary Kay Ash (1918-2001): At 45, Ash’s frustration at being passed over for a promotion in favor of a man she had trained, led her to DARE Start her own company. After her interview with 60 Minutes in 1979, when she was 51, her company really took off.
Jean Nidetch (1923-2006): At 40, she DARED Start Weight Watchers, the godmother of all diet programs, turning her weekly support group meetings into the global public company that today is considered by members and health experts alike the most effective diet program in the world.
Ruth Fertel (1927-2002): In 1965 mortgaged her house to purchase Chris Steak House, a small restaurant in New Orleans. Ten years later, at 48, became a franchisor of steakhouses across the country and, ultimately, around the world. Regarded as â”The First Lady of Restaurants.â€
Geraldine Ferraro (1935 – ): At 49, became the first woman to run for Vice President of the United States. Then DARED Start a new career as a media commentator and corporate consultant, as well as waging a tenacious battle against cancer in her late 60s.
Paula Deen (1947 – ): Agoraphobic from her early 20s, was 42 before she DARED Start the catering business that ultimately led her to Food Network stardom and national popularity among women of all ages.