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8 business icons who found success after age 40

If you didn't start a multi-million dollar business or become a CEO in your 20s, you may think your prime time for success has come and gone.

But while the Mark Zuckerbergs and Michelle Phans of the business world might get a lot of the attention, most professionals — and many storied innovators — achieve success later on.

Here are 8 iconic entrepreneurs icons who made it big after age 40:

1. Vera Wang

Wang was a figure skater, dancer and journalist before making a grand entrance to the fashion world at age 40 with the opening of her flagship bridal salon at the Carlyle Hotel in New York.

"All those years of skating and dancing have carried over," Wang says. "I can't design anything without thinking of how a woman's body will look and move when she's wearing it."

Vera Wang, Designer.
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Vera Wang, Designer.

2. Henry Ford

Ford was 45 when his Model T car was introduced to the public in 1908. Ford's design, labor practices and brilliant marketing techniques transformed the automobile industry and created an iconic American business, the Ford Motor Company.

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3. Jack Weil
Weil was the founder and CEO of the Western-style clothing manufacturer Rockmount Ranch Wear. He remained CEO until he died at the age of 107.

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4. Momofuku Ando
The Taiwanese entrepreneur was 48 when he invented the food that would eventually become a staple for dorm rooms the world over, instant ramen noodles. He began experimenting with the food product in 1958 behind his house in Ikeda, Japan.

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KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images

5. Lynda Weinman
At age 40, Weinman co-founded the online education company Lynda.com, which LinkedIn would later acquire for $1.5 billion. She is a former graphic arts professor and self-taught computer expert.

Her motto, she tells Forbes, is, "Follow your heart."

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Ray Mickshaw/WireImage/Getty Images

6. Chip Wilson
Wilson founded fitness wear company Lululemon at age 42, though he is no longer at the helm of the company. Wilson came up with idea for a athletic wear company while he was taking a yoga class.

Chip Wilson, founder and former CEO of Lululemon.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Chip Wilson, founder and former CEO of Lululemon.

7. Robert Noyce
Noyce, who was known to many as "the mayor of Silicon Valley," co-founded Intel at age 41.

Intel Free Press


8. Julia Child
Child worked in media and advertising before writing her first cookbook at age 50 and then becoming a beloved figure worldwide.

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it," Child once said.

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