If 62-year-old actor Mickey Rourke has taught us anything with his November 2014 defeat of a 29-year-old opponent in a Moscow boxing ring, it's that you're never too old to be an inspiring figure. The following six people are all proof positive that hitting retirement age is the perfect time to pull off your most impressive feats yet.
Oprah Winfrey: Writing Her Next Chapter
Since retiring from her daily talk show in 2011, Oprah has not gone gently into that good night and has instead built her “next chapter” as a network executive. At first, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) struggled. By May 2012, Ratings suffered and OWN was losing a reported $330-million. But by July of that same year, Oprah made things right by stepping in as Chairwoman, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Creative Officer. Now, thanks to critically-acclaimed original programming from friend Tyler Perry and her own exclusive interviews with Lance Armstrong and Whitney Houston's family, OWN has stabilized in the ratings and she's quelled the fears of formerly anxious advertisers.
Bill Gates: A Foundation Of Giving
After being inspired by his wife Melinda, Bill Gates began giving away his $82.3-billion fortune and encouraging others in his billionaire class to do the same. Since retiring as CEO of Microsoft in 2000, much of his wealth and energy have been poured into the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization seeks to reduce extreme poverty and enhance healthcare across the globe, while improving education and access to information technology in the U.S. Its sheer scale and corporate approach to giving make it an instant leader in the philanthropic field. All of this ensures that Gates' reinvention as the world's ultimate giver may have an even greater impact on our world than his first one as a software pioneer.
Bill & Hilary Clinton: Making A Difference In Politics And Philanthropy
Not to be outdone, another Bill — Bill Clinton — is known for his philanthropic endeavours since leaving office in January 2001. Along with campaigning for his wife and the U.S. Democratic Party, Clinton's William J. Clinton Foundation has brought together resources and world experts in finding a solution for climate change and he and former president George H.W. Bush teamed up for Hurricane Katrina and Indian Ocean Tsunami relief. Meanwhile, retired First Lady Hilary Clinton is two years north of 65 and she has already completed terms as a U.S. Senator and the Secretary of State with a rumoured eye toward being America's first female president in 2016.
Jamie Lee Curtis: Lifting The Curtain On Her Second Act
This second-generation actress has been largely retired from the screen beyond a few guest-starring roles on TV and a few sporadic film appearances. Instead, she has enjoyed a second career as a best-selling children's author, an advocate of healthy living as the spokesperson for yogurt brand Activia and a staunch supporter of various philanthropic organizations. A recovering alcoholic herself, Curtis is a supporter of the Venice, California-based, “Women in Recovery,” a non-profit offering a live-in twelve-step program for female addicts in need. She also invests her time helping sick children through her role on the Board of Trustees at the Los Angeles Children's Hospital and through hosting The Children Affected by AIDS Foundation's annual Dream Halloween event.
Michael J. Fox: Searching For A Cure
Forced to semi-retire from acting in 2000 as the symptoms of his Parkinson's Disease worsened, this Canadian-born actor launched The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, which is the largest organization dedicated to the treatment and cure of Parkinson's Disease. Meanwhile, he has written three memoirs that all preach his positive outlook on life. In 2007, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 people “whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world.”
The Mighty Atom Jr.: Continuing A Heroic Legacy
As The Mighty Atom, Joe Greenstein's feats of strength inspired the creation of a DC Comics superhero named after him. But we would argue the strongman feats of his son, Mike Greenstein, were even more heroic. At 93 years young, Mike was still pulling a 3500 pound truck with his teeth on the 2014 season of America's Got Talent in an astounding effort to carry on his father's legacy.