Your Life’s Encore
In The Third Act, Josh Sapan ’75 talks with remarkable individuals about making their later years the best ones yet.
Throughout 35 years in the entertainment industry, Josh Sapan ’75 crossed paths with accomplished people whose golden years are just as fulfilling, if not more so, than their glory days. In The Third Act: Reinventing Your Next Chapter, Sapan shares 60 stories of those who chose to “refire” rather than retire and whose lives — and the world — are all the better for it.
Readers will recognize industry icons like Alan Alda, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, and Rita Moreno, while meeting individuals whose names were never up in lights but whose achievements are no less remarkable. At age 80, Donzella Washington became the oldest graduate of Alabama A&M University. Jamal Joseph spent seven years in prison, where he earned two college degrees, before joining the faculty at Columbia University; he later established a safe space for Harlem youth. Computer programmer Carl Butz celebrated his retirement by purchasing and revitalizing America’s smallest local newspaper, and Andrea Peterson became a firefighter at age 62.
These are just a few of the inspiring stories that illustrate the limitless potential of a time marked by newfound freedom paired with the wisdom of a life well lived. Most profiles in the book are accompanied by striking black-and-white portraits that depict their subjects not in the glow of youth, but in the joyful contentment of old age.
“Each person in this book … is a picture of another kind of retirement: one that’s generative, reflective, and rewarding,” Sapan writes in the book’s preface.
Sapan is the former president and CEO of AMC Networks. He commenced his own third act when he retired in 2022.
Published in the Fall 2023 issue