An opsimath [ahp-se-math] can refer to a person who begins, or continues, to study or learn late in life. Opsimathy was once frowned upon, used as a put down with implications of laziness, and considered less effective by educators than early learning. The emergence of opsimath clubs has demonstrated that opsimathy has shed much of this negative connotation, and that this approach may, in fact, be desirable.

Notable opsimaths include Sir Henry Rawlinson, Grandma Moses, and Cato the Elder who learned Greek only at the age of 80. George Dawson (1898 – 2001) was called ‘America’s favorite poster child for literacy’ after learning to read at the age of 98. His life story, ‘Life Is So Good,’ was published in 2000.

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