Lifestyle These Famous Stars Didn't Know "What They Wanted to Be When They Grew Up" Until After 40 By Alexandra Whittaker Alexandra Whittaker Instagram Twitter Website Alexandra Whittaker is a news and pop culture editor based in New York City. She studied at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and at Marquette University, where she freelanced for USA Today, Women's Wear Daily, and ELLE. She currently leads both the news and entertainment teams at Cosmopolitan magazine and previously worked as the news editor of InStyle.com where she spearheaded awards coverage. She enjoys writing and editing news stories, interviewing celebrities, and covering the intricacies of the British royal family. InStyle's editorial guidelines Updated on October 18, 2017 @ 04:15PM Pin Share Tweet Email Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty As we can all attest to, growing up doesn't always happen at the same rate as growing into yourself. Some of the most successful people who've ever lived didn't have it "all figured out" career-wise until well after their teens—and even into their 40s. Take Vera Wang, for example. The wildly successful designer has become a household name for both her intricate bridal wear and her accessibly stylish ready-to-wear lines. Her high skill level might fool some into thinking she has been a design prodigy her entire life, but she actually grew up as a competitive figure skater before jumping into the magazine world. It wasn't until she was 40 that she became an independent bridal wear designer, and now her work has become an internationally acclaimed bridal fashion staple. Surprised? Don't be. Scroll through 10 other stars who didn't start the careers that made them famous until they were at least 40 years old. 01 of 10 Martha Stewart Neilson Barnard/Getty Stewart is a household name and lifestyle mogul, but she worked as a stockbroker before she made a business out of entertaining. Her debut book Entertaining was published in 1982, when Stewart was 41. 02 of 10 Samuel L. Jackson Neilson Barnard/Getty His acting prowess is certainly well-known now, but fans might be surprised to learn that he didn't hit his breakout role until he was 43. 03 of 10 Ray Kroc Getty You might not recognize Kroc's name at first glance, but you definitely know of his legacy. The businessman went from selling paper cups and working as a milkshake mixer salesman to owning and operating one of the largest fast food chains of all time: McDonald's. Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchised under his partnership with the McDonald brothers when he was 52. 04 of 10 Julia Child Bachrach/Getty Images Child is often credited with bringing French cuisine into American kitchens, but she didn't publish her debut cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking until she was 50. 05 of 10 Kathryn Joosten Michael Bezjian/WireImage Known for her featured roles on Desperate Housewives and The West Wing, Emmy winner Joosten didn't start acting until she found a community theater program at age 42. She had her first guest roles on TV shows in 1995 when she was 56. 06 of 10 Laura Ingalls Wilder Getty The American writer is best remembered for her Little House on the Prairie books, but she didn't start publishing the famous collection until she was 65 years old. 07 of 10 Toni Morrison Todd Plitt/Getty Morrison was teaching and raising two kids alone when she developed her first novel, The Bluest Eye, in the early mornings before she left for work. She published the book just shy of her 40th birthday, but it did not sell well. Her third novel, Sula, though, brought her critical acclaim and was published when she was 46. 08 of 10 Susan Boyle Scott Campbell/Getty The Scottish singer was catapulted into international superstardom when she appeared on Britain's Got Talent, but that didn't happen until she was 48. 09 of 10 Grandma Moses PhotoQuest/Getty Images Anna Mary Robertson Moses was a prolific folk artist who never painted anything until she was 78, hence her nickname "Grandma Moses." She won awards, graced magazine covers, appeared on television shows, and had a documentary made about her life. Today, her work hangs in museums around the world. 10 of 10 Henry Ford Apic/Getty Ford is known for creating the model T car and revolutionizing the industry, which happened when he was 45 years old.