Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Viral image
stated on March 6, 2019 in a Facebook post:
Says Winston Churchill said, "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."
true false
Winston Churchill didn't make this statement about age. Winston Churchill didn't make this statement about age.

Winston Churchill didn't make this statement about age.

Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 8, 2019

No, Winston Churchill didn't say this quote about age

Winston Churchill once said, "It’s a good thing for an uneducated man to read a book of quotations." The British statesman is himself widely quoted, both online and off. Perhaps you’ve heard this one: "If you’re going through hell, keep going." Or maybe: "The price of greatness is responsibility."

But we weren’t familiar with another that is making the rounds on Facebook.

"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," reads a quote posted March 6 that’s attributed to Churchill.

It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Searching for the quote online turns up many posts that attribute the statement to Churchill on websites like Quotefancy, which makes computer wallpapers with "inspirational posts."

Featured Fact-check

But we also found posts that attribute the quote to "unknown," including this Reddit post from five years ago. These self-help books describe the quote as a "saying" and "unknown." When Ryan Seacrest, co-host of "LIVE with Kelly and Ryan,"  posted the quote on his Facebook page on Aug. 27, 2014, he noted that the person who said it was "unknown."

We had a harder time finding an original or credible source that showed Churchill actually made this statement.

Richard Langworth, a senior fellow at the Hillsdale College Churchill Project who wrote, "Churchill By Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotes," includes it on his website in a Nov. 8 post titled: "All the ‘quotes’ Winston Churchill never said (1)." Langworth says there is no attribution for the quote.

The quote isn’t included on the International Churchill Society’s page of quotes, or on BBC America’s roundup of 50 Churchill quotes "to live by."

We live by the facts, and having not found any proof that Churchill made this statement, we rate this Facebook post False.

 
Share the Facts
2
1
7
PolitiFact rating logo PolitiFact Rating:
False
Winston Churchill said, "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."
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Our Sources

Facebook post, March 6,2019

BBC America, "50 Sir Winston Churchill Quotes to Live By," 2015

Pinterest post, visited March 8, 2019

Quotefancy post, visited March 8, 2019

Learning-mind.com post, visited March 8, 2019

Richardlangworth.com, "All the ‘quotes’ Winston Churchill never said (1)," Nov. 8, 2018

International Churchill Society, Quotes, visited March 8, 2019

Reddit post, 2014

Ryan Seacrest Facebook post, Aug. 27, 2014

International Business Times, "Top 15 inspirational quotes that will change your life," Aug. 19, 2014

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Ciara O'Rourke

No, Winston Churchill didn't say this quote about age

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up