40 Is the New 40

Quadragintarians are people, too


Before I go any further, I want to get one thing clear: I am not an ageist. I have nothing but respect for babies. I hold millennials, generation X-ers and baby boomers in high regard. And I’ve got nothing but love for septuagenarians, supercentenarians and all the -arians in between.

That said, I do have a bone to pick with two local publications.

For more than a decade, the Jacksonville Business Journal has been honoring up-and-coming professionals with “40 Under 40.” Two years ago, BUZZ Magazine started recognizing “successful future leaders” with “Jacksonville's Top 30 Under 30.” Well, guess what, young whippersnappers: 40-somethings do pretty amazing things, too.

Hank Aaron was 40 when he hit his 715th home run. Ingrid Bergman, Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon won Academy Awards in their 40s. Benjamin Franklin was in his mid-40s when he conducted his electric experiments with a key and a kite. Mother Teresa was 42 when she founded her Missions of Charity. Presidents Obama, Clinton, Kennedy and Grant were all in their 40s when they took office.

Which brings me to a special announcement: Nominations for The Specktator's inaugural “49 Between 40 and 49" are officially open. Unlike previously mentioned contests, there are no "qualifications" for being nominated (I mean, what exactly does "professional" mean? And isn't "success" relative?) — other than the nominee must be between the ages of 40 and 49 and live in Northeast Florida. It would be great if the person does something beneficial for the community, excels in her job, possesses a special talent or maybe he just looks good in a Speedo. Whatever criteria you choose to use in your nomination is up to you. 

Email me at with your name, the name and age of your nominee, and reason(s) for your nomination—in ≤49 words, please. You may nominate as many people as you'd like, including yourself (I'll never tell).

And remember it's "Specktator" with a "k."

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