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.

Claim

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.”

Rating

Misattributed About this rating

Origin

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.

Sources
  • Langworth, Richard.   “All the “Quotes” Winston Churchill Never Said.”
        RichardLangworth.com.   8 November 2018.

Dear Reader,

Snopes.com has long been engaged in the battle against misinformation, an effort we could not sustain without support from our audience. Producing reliable fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting requires significant resources. We pay writers, editors, web developers, and other staff who work tirelessly to provide you with an invaluable service: evidence-based, contextualized analysis of facts. Help us keep Snopes.com strong. Make a direct contribution today. Learn More.

Donate with PayPal