Millionaires Who Didn’t Become Rich Until Later In Life

We all know about the young billionaires that found success early in their lives, like Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel. While these people achieved incredible feats at an early age, they are certainly not the norm. Many people who make the billionaires list didn’t find success until later in their lives.

Studies show that, on average, it takes a person 32 years to become a billionaire. But if you are looking to join the billionaire’s club, it’s never too late. Here are the millionaires and billionaires who didn’t find success until much later in their lives.

Vera Wang, Estimated Net Worth: $420 Million

GettyImages-463678594
JP Yim/Getty Images
JP Yim/Getty Images

Vera Wang is one of the beloved icons in the fashion world and her couture outfits are worn by celebrities everywhere. However, Wang was not always a part of the fashion world. In fact, she was a former figure skater and took part in the U.S Figure Skating Championship but did not qualify for the Olympics.

After college, Wang was hired at Vogue where she worked her way up the ladder to become editor-in-chief of the magazine. It wasn’t until she hit 40-years-old that she entered the fashion world and designed her own gowns. Her net worth is over $400 million today.

Donald Fisher, Estimated Net Worth, $3.3 Billion

Pinterest/Business Insider
Pinterest/Business Insider

Donald Fisher is the founder of one of the most successful clothing stores in the world, Gap Inc. Prior to founding the store, Fisher was a real estate developer but after a few years, he decided to make the jump to clothing.

Donald Fisher had no prior experience in retail and in 1969 he launched the first Gap store in San Francisco and sold clothing and music. They eventually expanded to numerous stores in the U.S and introduced affiliate stores like the Banana Republic and Old Navy as well. Fisher was 37 when he founded Gap Inc.

Martha Stewart, Estimated Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

GettyImages-611388294
Photo by Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images for Advertising Week New York
Photo by Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images for Advertising Week New York

While it may seem like Martha Stewart has been a member of the culinary world for a long time, it wasn’t until much later in life that she got her big break. After graduation, Stewart worked on Wall Street for many years.

It was only when she was remodeling her family’s home in Connecticut that she became infatuated with entertaining and catering. She then decided to write her first book, Entertaining, at age 40 which became an instant bestseller. Her net worth is $1.2 billion.

Charles Darwin, Estimated Net Worth: $16 Million

GettyImages-89834955
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid via Getty Images

Charles Darwin was a famous biologist and geologist who made immense contributions to the field of science, specifically with his theory of evolution. He earned his degree at Christ’s College Cambridge where he studied natural theology and philosophy.

After graduating he set sail on the HMS Beagle and kept careful notes of his observations during the voyage. While he made a lot of discoveries during this time, he didn’t earn his millions until the age of 50 when he published the book ‘Origin of Species.’ His net worth upon his death was $16 million.

Alan Rickman, Estimated Net Worth: $16 Million

GettyImages-457385858
Mike Marsland/WireImage
Mike Marsland/WireImage

We all know Alan Rickman as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter series but the actor only got his big break much later in life. Before he was an actor, Rickman was a graphic designer who has a degree from the Chelsea College of Art and Design. However, he soon became interested in acting and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Alan Rickman got his big break at the age of 42 when he was given the role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard. He then went on to act in numerous movies including the Harry Potter franchise. Rickman has an estimated net worth of $16 million.

Samuel L. Jackson, Estimated Net Worth: $220 Million

GettyImages-452680520
John Sciulli via Getty Images for Xbox
John Sciulli via Getty Images for Xbox

Samuel L. Jackson is an icon in Hollywood but it wasn’t until much later in his life that the actor earned his star status. Jackson majored in drama in college and after graduating he went on to act in various plays and films. He then moved to New York City, acting in stage plays.

Samuel L. Jackson got his big break at the age of 43 when he was offered a role in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. From there he went on to act in many Hollywood movies and is an icon in the industry today. His net worth is $220 million.

Sam Walton, Estimated Net Worth: $15 Billion

GettyImages-515332244
Getty Images
Getty Images

Sam Walton is the founder of the giant retail supermarket chain, Walmart. Prior to starting Walmart, Walton had a successful career in the retail industry, first at JC Penny and then managing his own variety store called Ben Franklin stores.

He eventually founded Walmart in 1962, at age 44 which became the giant supermarket chain it is today. His emphasis on the logistics of the company was what made Walmart better than its competitors. Sam Walton has a net worth of $15 billion.

Henry Ford, Estimated Net Worth: $200 Billion

GettyImages-3230625
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Henry Ford is the founder of the automaker Ford Motors. However, Ford created the company later in his life and his first job was an engineer in the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit, Michigan. During his time there he was introduced to Thomas Edison and with the help of the engineers who encouraged Ford to build his first automobile.

Henry Ford left the company to start his own business, the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899. It was at age 49 when he created the first Model T car that was an instant success. The car made the company what it is today. Ford had a net worth of $200 billion at the time of his death.

Jack Weil, Estimated Net Worth Unknown

Pinterest/ The Denver Post
Pinterest/ The Denver Post

Jack Weil is a designer and founder of the clothing store Rockmount Ranch Wear, a western clothing brand based in Illinois. The company is one of the most popular cowboy attire brands in America.

Jack Weil wanted to create practical cowboy wear and entered the industry at age 45. He was one of the oldest CEOs in the U.S and headed the company until the age of 107 in 2008. He believed that the West was not a place but rather a state of mind.

Stan Lee, Estimated Net Worth in 2018: $50 Million

Photo by Frazer Harrison via Getty Images
Photo by Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Stan Lee is the creator of some of the most famous superheroes we know today. Co-creator of the marvel Empire, he is a legend in the comic book world. Lee always had an affinity towards fictional characters and wanted to reflect his own life as a comic book rather than a graphic memoir.

Lee graduated high school early, at the age of 16, and rose to fame at the age of 39 with the creation of his first comic book, Fantastic Four. Since then he went on to create numerous characters like X-Men and Spiderman that we know and love today. Lee passed away in 2018, at the age of 95, just one year after his wife of nearly 70 years passed away.

Rodney Dangerfield, Estimated Net Worth: $10 Million

GettyImages-714286069
Photo by Allan Tannenbaum/IMAGES via Getty Images
Photo by Allan Tannenbaum/IMAGES via Getty Images

Rodney Dangerfield is a comic icon known for his monologues and catchphrase “I get no respect.” Dangerfield was a millionaire when he died in 2004 but he earned this status much later in life. He first worked as a salesman and did standup at night but was shunned by various comic clubs because his image was much different than other comedians.

Dangerfield got his big break when the Ed Sullivan Show needed a replacement. His performance on the show made him an instant success. He was 46 years old at this time. His net worth at the time of his death was $10 million.

David Duffield, Estimated Net Worth: $1.2 Billion

GettyImages-540019135
Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images
Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images

David Duffield is the CEO of the Software company, Peoplesoft. This company earned Duffield his millionaire status but it was not until much later in his life. Prior to founding PeopleSoft, Duffield created two other software companies, Integral Systems and Information Associates.

He founded in 1987 which became one of the biggest software application companies in the world. The company was bought by Oracle in 2005. Duffield was 47 when he became a millionaire and has a net worth of $1.2 billion.

Julia Child, Estimated Net Worth: $38 Million

GettyImages-79295696
Photo by George Rose via Getty Images
Photo by George Rose via Getty Images

Julia Child is a TV personality and chef. Her most noted works include Mastering the Art of French Cooking and her TV show The French Chef. But Child was not always a famous chef; she worked in advertising and only got into cooking when she met her husband whose family enjoyed cooking.

Child became a well-known chef in 1961 when she was 49 years old, which is also when she wrote her first book. At the time of her death in 1994, Child had a net worth of $38 million.

Taikichiro Mori

Pinterest/ Business Insider
Pinterest/ Business Insider

Taikichiro Mori is a real estate developer and was the richest man in the world from 1991-92. However, he didn’t always work in the real estate industry. Mori began his career working as the Dean of Commerce at Yokohama City University for many years.

After he retired from his position, he founded the Mori Building Company and earned his real wealth at the age of 51. He had a net worth of $13 billion at the time of his death in 1993.

Ray Kroc, Estimated Net Worth: $500 Million

GettyImages-515575340
via Getty Images
via Getty Images

Ray Kroc is a fast food tycoon. He got his start in the industry when he joined McDonald’s in 1954. At the time, the founders of the company franchised six locations. However, prior to this Kroc sold milkshake machines for many years.

In 1961, Kroc acquired McDonald’s from the owners and turned the company into the giant fast food business it is today. His acquisition of the company paid off as McDonald’s is worth $33.8 billion today. At the time of his death in 1984, Kroc had a net worth of $500 million.

Wally Blume’s Denali Flavors Estimated Net Worth: $80 Million

AARP/website
AARP/website

Wally Blume is the founder of the ice-cream company, Denali Flavors, based in Wisconsin. The company has a large R&D team that focuses on creating a wide range of flavors. Prior to founding the company, Blume worked at various retail chains like Kroger, General Container, and Country Fresh.

He founded the company in 1996 along with two other founders. The company grew rapidly and had over 73 dairy processors in the U.S. The company now has an impressive net worth of $80 million.

Momofuku Ando, Estimated Net Worth: $100 Million

GettyImages-51791741
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

Momofuku Ando is the founder of the company Nissin Food Products. He is the brainchild behind instant ramen noodles which is popular around the world today, especially among college students. Prior to his start in the food industry, he worked in the textile business for many years.

After the war in Japan, there was a shortage of food in the country and so Ando created his instant noodle recipe at the age of 48. The noodles became an overnight success and earned Ando a net worth of $100 million.

Colonel Harland Sanders, Estimated Net Worth: $3.5 Million

GettyImages-515114564
Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Harland Sanders via Getty Images
Founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Harland Sanders via Getty Images

Colonel Harland Sanders is the founder of the famous fast food chain, KFC. Sanders held many jobs before he founded the company and did not earn his millionaire status until much later in life.

In 1952 he franchised his Kentucky Fried Chicken recipe to a large restaurant chain and sales more than tripled. He opened more franchises and it was one of the first fast food chains to expand globally. He sold the franchises for $2 million and had a net worth of $3.5 million.

Robin Chase, Estimated Net Worth Unknown

Robin Chase founded Zipcar, the world’s biggest car-sharing business_
Pinterest/ TED Talk
Pinterest/ TED Talk

Robin Chase is the founder and former CEO of the car-sharing company Zipcar. She has numerous degrees from Wellesley College, MIT, and Harvard. Chase did not create Zipcar early in her life. It wasn’t until 2000, at the age of 42, that Robin co-founded Zipcar along with Antje Danielson.

She founded the company with just a couple of dollars and the business became incredibly successful in just a few short years. The company was sold to Avis Budget Group and today Chase continues to work as a startup advisor and is a member of numerous boards.

Gary and Diane Heavin, Estimated Net Worth: $2 Billion

Gary-Heavin-103193609
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Gary Heavin’s story is pretty interesting. Heavin became a millionaire at the age of 25 after taking over a failing fitness center. He made a successful business out of it and opened several more locations. But then, he went bankrupt. Heavin lost it all by the time he was 30.

It wasn’t until a decade later, at 40 years old that the entrepreneur opened the first Curves fitness center in 1992, alongside his wife Diane. That’s when he got his fortune back, this time, making it stick.