FACT CHECK: Did Winston Churchill Say This Quote About Getting Older?

J. J. Cahill | Contributor

A meme shared on Facebook attributed a quote about getting older to the late British prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill.

“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,” it claims he said.

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Churchill ever made this statement.

Fact Check:

This quote appears on many web pages that post memorable quotes. The origins of the saying are unknown, but it is often falsely attributed to Churchill.

A public figure for much of his life, Churchill’s public statements and writings are well preserved. Churchill was a prolific writer, authoring a great number of books, articles and speeches.

However, in all of the literature written about or by Churchill, this quote does not appear anywhere. The International Churchill Society, which partnered with George Washington University to establish the National Churchill Library and Center, does not list the expression on its page of Churchill quotes.

Richard M. Langworth, a senior fellow at Hillsdale College’s Churchill Project, even includes the quote on his list of “All The ‘Quotes’ Winston Church Never Said.”

Churchill, at one time a journalist and solider, also served in a variety of government roles over his long career, starting with his 1900 election to the Parliament. In what he called “walking with destiny,” Churchill was appointed prime minister in 1940 against the backdrop of the Second World War.

J. J. Cahill