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The most dramatic example I know of someone who is older and also not a well known who found a major result is Kurt Heegner. He was a 59 year old private tutor and radio engineer with no previous published results when he proved the Class Number 1 problem. His proof was initially rejected by the mathematical establishment and he died before learning that the proof was a major advance and essentially correct.


This story and Heegner's are particularly interesting because over the years some prominent mathematicians have stated that they believe mathematical creative declines rapidly with age.

I'm pretty sure that creativity doesn't so much evaporate with age as you're educated out of it (education is largely focused on memorization of work) . Or to quote Picaso:

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."


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