Everybody knows what a Baby Boomer is. But do you know what a “trailing-edge Boomer” is? If you were born anywhere from 1956 to 1964, you do, because you are one. The Baby Boom generation was enormous – it started as soon as the first GIs came home from World War II and didn't run out of steam until the year after we lost John F. Kennedy.
Popular culture has stereotyped this generation as anti-war, anti-establishment, protestin’, pot-smokin’, long-haired hippie freaks. We think of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and all of the Beatles – but hold on just a minute! They were all born before the Baby Boom started. In fact, their group is known as – ha! – the Silent generation. So the years don’t necessarily line up precisely.
Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are true demographic Boomers. So are Bill Gates, Stephen King, Billy Joel, and Oprah Winfrey. Anyone born between 1946 and roughly 1955 is considered a “leading-edge” Boomer. The rest of us have been given a rather sad-sounding label: “trailing-edge.”