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Inspirational Elderlys

Did you know that the oldest Nobel Laureate Prize winner was Leonid Hurwicz at the age of 90? Or that Dorothy Davenhill Hirsch broke a record when she visited the North Pole at the age of 89? Everyday, seniors are challenging the notion that life’s biggest accomplishments are reserved for the young, which gives us inspirational stories for senior citizens to feel empowered and encouraged.

From breaking records to award-winning achievements, older adults are proving that there is truth in the saying, “Age is just a number.” Whether you’re practicing a lifelong hobby or learning something new, your retirement can be the time in your life to make your dreams come true just like these inspirational stories for senior citizens. Below are a few inspirational stories for senior citizens about 5 people who will inspire you to get active and accomplish your goals in retirement!

James Collins Warren

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, at 87 years old, Lieutenant Colonel James Collins Warren got his pilot license after a lifetime of service in the Air Force. He served in three wars as a navigator and a revered member of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. He retired in 1978 and got involved with programs to encourage children to get involved in flying. James finally settled down in his 80’s and decided to focus on one of his own lifelong dreams. He bought an airplane and received his Federal Aviation Administration certificate.

Anna Mary Robertson Moses

Anna Mary Robertson, better known as Grandma Moses, didn’t try painting until her late 70’s. According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, she spent her life as a farm wife and mother, selling homemade food to support her family. She drew inspiration from life on the farm and as a hobby, she would work on needlework and quilts. When arthritis made it too difficult to continue with embroidery, Anna Mary decided to try painting her farm scenes instead. She was self-taught and used supplies from around the house. After a New York art collector stumbled upon her work, she gained massive popularity and her work was exhibited around the world.

John Glenn

The next of our inspirational stories for senior citizens take us to outer space. On October 29, 1998, John Glenn became the oldest person to travel to outer space. He was aboard the space shuttle orbiter Discovery for a research mission, and he participated in a series of tests on the aging process. This wasn’t John’s first time in outer space, as he is also remembered as being the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. John found his passion early on in life and worked on it continuously, staying a vocal supporter of the space program even after his retirement. In 2012, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Harriette Thompson

Not only does Harriette Thompson hold the record for the oldest woman to complete a marathon at the age of 92, but 2 years later she broke a new record by becoming the oldest woman to complete a half-marathon! Harriet didn’t start running until she was in her 50’s and didn’t participate in a marathon until she was 76, proving that it is never too late to try something new. As a two-time cancer survivor, Harriette motivated herself by running for a cause. Her efforts helped to raise over $100,000 for cancer research.

J.R.R. Tolkien

One of the most popular series of all time was not published until the author was 62. J.R.R. Tolkien received his degree in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic languages and classic literature from the University of Oxford, and he continued studying linguistics throughout his career as a professor. At the age of 45, he published The Hobbit, which became an instant success and his publicist asked him to write more. J.R.R. spent the next 20 years working on the sequel series, The Lord of the Rings. In 1954, five years before he would retire, J.R.R. released the first of the trilogy series that became global bestsellers and were eventually adapted into award-winning movies.


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