28 things people had achieved at the age of 28

October 17, 2013 9:09 am Comments Off on 28 things people had achieved at the age of 28 Views: 3858

New Zealand’s Eleanor Catton, 28, has become the youngest winner of the Booker prize in history. Here are 28 other people who rose to great things at that age

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Young achievers: (clockwise from top left) Orson Welles, Mark Zuckerberg, Bob Dylan, Elizabeth Taylor, Quentin Tarantino and David Bowie

1. At 28, Niels Bohr, a Danish physicist, permanently revolutionises science by publishing his theory of the atom

2. Paul McCartney goes solo, having dissolved the Beatles the month before his 28th birthday

3. Piers Morgan becomes the youngest editor in Fleet Street’s historywhen Rupert Murdoch gives him the top job at the News of the World

4. Having already discovered pendulum theory and disproved Aristotle’s law that heavier objects fall faster than lighter ones, Galileo Galileibecomes chair of mathematics at the University of Padua

5. At 28, Alexander Graham Bell is in the throes of inventing the telephone – the breakthrough comes a week after his 29th birthday

6. Nobel prizewinner – and Margaret Thatcher’s favourite economist – Milton Friedman completes his doctoral dissertation

7. Eye doctor by day, mad visionary by night, at 28 Ludwig L Zamenhof invents the universal language Esperanto

8. By the age of 28, having sculpted masterpieces including David and the Pieta, then painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Michelangelodecides to turn his attentions to architecture

9. At 28, Abraham Darby III is finishing the the world’s first cast-iron bridge. Often cited as the start of the Industrial Revolution, the bridge over the river Severn in Shropshire, Britain, opens the following year

10. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche publishes his first book, The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music. It discusses how Greek tragedy is produced by the fusion of the Apollonian and Dionysian – order and chaos

11. Charles Dickens begins serialising his fourth novel The Old Curiosity Shop in Master Humphrey’s Clock, the magazine he also edits

12. The shy maths genius Bernhard Riemann starts giving lectures on his theory of geometry. Riemannian geometry later becomes the basis of Einstein’s general theory of relativity

13. David Bowie releases his album Young Americans, whose “plastic soul” sound marks a decisive break with his glam rock past. The single Fame gives him his first American No 1

14. Though his greatest masterpieces lay ahead, by the age of 28 William Shakespeare had most likely written plays including The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus and The Comedy of Errors

15. From his station in Nova Scotia, Canada, Guglielmo Marconitransmits the first radio message to cross the Atlantic from North America

16. Damien Hirst makes his international debut at the 1993 Venice Biennale, where he exhibits Mother and Child Divided, a cow and calf sliced vertically in half and exhibited in vitrines filled with formaldehyde

17. Having left Ireland for Trieste the year before, aged 28, James Joyce publishes A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and starts work on his modernist masterpiece Ulysses

18. Alexander the Great takes the Persian title King of Kings. By the age of 30 he has conquered most of his empire, which stretches from the Himalayas in India to the Ionian Sea off Greece

19. Four days after his 28th birthday, Mark Zuckerberg floats Facebook on the stock market. It instantly makes him a paper billionaire many times over; the Forbes rich list puts him level pegging with George Soros

20. Quentin Tarantino debuts his first film Reservoir Dogs at the Sundance film festival, where it is an immediate smash hit

21. At 28, William Pitt the Younger is enjoying his fourth year as British prime minister

22. By 28, Orson Welles’s greatest career triumphs are behind him. After directing three flop films including Citizen Kane, he returns to the radio, and to a guest slot on the Jack Benny variety show. That year he also marries Rita Hayworth, which perhaps softens the blow

23. Having won her first Oscar for Butterfield 8, Elizabeth Taylor becomes the highest-paid female actor in history when she signs a $1m contract to star in Cleopatra

24. At 28 Joni Mitchell has her first hit single, You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio. More significant achievements include the landmark albums For the Roses, Blue and Ladies of the Canyon, which were already under her belt by then

25. Inspired by his grief at the death of John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley composes the poem Adonaïs. The following year Shelley himself drowns, less than a month before his 30th birthday

26. In 1794, Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin, his invention of the previous year. It removes the seeds from cotton fibres, revolutionising its production

27. Having kept a low profile since his motorbike crash in 1966, aged 28Bob Dylan makes his comeback as a live performer at the Isle of Wight festival in Britain. The country-tinged setlist leaves nonplussed an audience whom John Lennon describes as “waiting for Godot or Jesus”

28. With his reputation in the ascendant and The Dark Knight in the can,Heath Ledger dies due to an overdose of prescription drugs

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