THE BLOG
07/17/2014 11:50 am ET Updated Sep 16, 2014

You're Never Too Old to Leave a Legacy

You think that you are too old to leave a legacy? Think again. Take inspiration from Anna Mary Robertson Moses. Grandma Moses, as she was called, was known to the American public for her paintings; one of which has been featured on a U.S. postage stamp. Grandma Moses, who became a national and international celebrity, began to receive recognition for her paintings when she was in her late seventies.

Moses' legacy began when her arthritic hands prevented her from doing needlework. At the urging of her sister, she took up painting instead. Success was not immediate. Her "primitive art" paintings were discovered in the window of a drugstore in a neighboring town when Moses was 77 years old. The discoverer promised Moses that he would make her famous -- and he did. At age 80, after a modestly successful exhibition at a gallery, Grandma Moses became known to the public when her paintings were displayed for Thanksgiving at Gimbels' Department Store in New York City.

Over the next two decades, her fame expanded from New York to the national and then international scene. Grandma Moses Christmas cards were produced. Books of her paintings were published and her works were featured on Hallmark greeting cards. A documentary film of her life was nominated for an Academy Award. Eventually, her empire expanded and she was featured on the cover of Time magazine. Her 100th birthday was a cause of great celebration. Grandma Moses demonstrated to the country -- and the world -- that someone can contribute and create a legacy at any age - young or old.

Learn about more she-roes and celebrate amazing women. Grandma Moses is among the more than 850 women profiled in the book Her Story: A Timeline of the Women Who Changed America. The legacies of these women benefit all of us today and I am proud to stand on their shoulders.

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