Winston Churchill on Caring What Other People Think of You

Churchill opined about many things, but the impact of aging on how much one cares about what other people think wasn't one of them.

  • Published 5 December 2018


Winston Churchill once said: “When you’re 20 you care what everybody thinks, when you're 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you're 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.”


About this rating


On 3 December 2018, the Facebook page “Pictures in History,” an account which often posts incorrect nuggets of historical information, posted a meme attributing to Winston Churchill a quotation about the merits of not caring about what other people think: “When you’re 20 you care what everyone thinks, when you’re 40 you stop caring what everyone thinks, when you’re 60 you realize no one was ever thinking about you in the first place”:

We found no record of Churchill’s ever having said this, and Richard Langworth, a senior fellow with the Hillsdale College Winston Churchill Project, included the saying in his exhaustive list of “All the ‘Quotes’ Winston Churchill Never Said.” Churchill, one of the most falsely quoted individuals in history, frequently has words attributed to him whose origins appear to long postdate his death.

Not so long ago, this particular quote about aging existed on the Internet primarily as a wise saying attributed to “Anonymous” or “Unknown.” For example, motivational speaker Bill Benjamin included it as such on his list of “Favorite Quotes & Thoughts” as far back as 2008. This quote appears in myriad other lists of anonymous sayings as well and was “memed” into a Churchill quote only fairly recently.
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes