Napoleon Hill

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Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill (October 25, 1883November 8, 1970) was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time. Hill's works examined the power of personal beliefs, and the role they play in personal success. "What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve" is one of Hill's hallmark expressions.[1][2] How achievement actually occurs, and a formula for it that puts success in reach for the average person, were the focus of Hill's books.


[edit] Life and works

According to his official biographer, Napoleon Hill was born in an impoverished, one-room cabin in the Appalachian town of Pound in Southwest Virginia.[3] Hill's mother died when he was ten years old and his father remarried two years later. At the age of 13, Hill began writing as a "mountain reporter" for small-town newspapers in the area of Wise County and he later used his earnings as a reporter to enter law school, but soon had to withdraw for financial reasons.[4]

[edit] Influence of Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

The turning point in the writing career Napoleon Hill is considered to have occurred in 1908 with his assignment, as part of a series of articles about famous men, to interview billionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who at the time was one of the most powerful men in the world. Hill discovered that Carnegie believed that the process of success could be elaborated in a simple formula that could be duplicated by the average person. Impressed with Hill, Carnegie commissioned him (without pay and only offering to provide him with letters of reference) to interview over 500 successful men and women, many of them millionaires, in order to discover and publish this formula for success.[5]

As part of his research, Hill interviewed many of the most famous people of the time, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, Joseph Stalin, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Charles Allen Ward and Jennings Randolph. The project lasted over twenty years, during which Hill became an advisor to Carnegie.[6] Mr. Hill was also an advisor to two presidents of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.[7]

[edit] The Philosophy of Achievement

As a result of Napoleons studies via Carnegie's introductions, the Philosophy of Achievement was offered as a formula for rags-to-riches success by Hill and Carnegie, published initially in 1928 as a study course called, The Law of Success. The Achievement formula was detailed further and published in home-study courses, including the seventeen-volume "Mental Dynamite" series until 1941.

Hill later called his personal success teachings "The Philosophy of Achievement" and he considered freedom, democracy, capitalism, and harmony to be important contributing elements. For without these foundations to build upon, as Hill demonstrated throughout his writings, successful personal achievements are not possible. He contrasted his philosophy with others, and thought Achievement was superior and responsible for the success Americans enjoyed for the better part of two centuries. Negative emotions, fear and selfishness among others, had no part to play in his philosophy, and Hill considered them to be the source of failure for unsuccessful people.[8]

The secret of achievement was tantalizingly offered to readers of Think and Grow Rich, and was never named directly. Hill felt discovering it for themselves would provide readers with the most benefit. Hill presented the idea of a "Definite Major Purpose" as a challenge to his readers, to make them ask of themselves "in what do you truly believe?" For according to Hill, 98% of people had no firm beliefs, putting true success firmly out of reach.[9]

Hill's numerous books have sold millions of copies, proving that the secret of Achievement is still highly sought-after by modern Americans. Hill dealt with many controversial subjects through his writings including racism, slavery, oppression, failure, revolution, war and poverty. Persevering and then succeeding in spite of these obstacles using the Philosophy of Achievement, Hill stated, was the responsibility of every American.[10]

[edit] Writings and other works

  • Hill's Golden Rule magazine, publisher and editor (1919-1920)
  • The Magic Ladder to Success (1930)
  • unpaid advisor to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt (1933-1936)
  • Think and Grow Rich - still in print in several versions, and has sold more than 30 million copies (1937).
  • How to Sell Your Way through Life (1939)
  • How to Raise Your Own Salary (1953)
  • taught Philosophy of Personal Achievement with W. Clement Stone and lectured on the Science of Success (1952-1962)
  • Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude (1960)
  • abridged version of Think and Grow Rich (1960)
  • You Can Work Your Own Miracles, was published posthumously (1971) following Napoleon Hill's death in 1970 at age 87 in South Carolina
  • Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised (2004, published by Ross Cornwell)

[edit] See also

[edit] Bibliography

  • Think and Grow Rich (1937)
  • How to Sell Your Way through Life
  • The Law of Success (1928)
  • Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude
  • You Can Work Your Own Miracles (1970)
  • Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success
  • Grow Rich!: With Peace of Mind
  • The Master-Key to Riches
  • Succeed and Grow Rich Through Persuasion

[edit] References

  1. ^ Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill page 14
  2. ^ Larry Chang Wisdom for the Soul, p. 514, Gnosophia Publishers, ISBN 978-0977339105
  3. ^ Napoleon Hill Foundation.
  4. ^ Michael J. Ritt A Lifetime of Riches, p. 23, Dutton Book, 1995 ISBN 978-0525941460
  5. ^ John Parks Le Tellier Quantum Learning and Instructional Leadership in Practice, p. 91, Corwin Press, 2006 ISBN 978-1412939904
  6. ^ Tony Nutley Think and Grow Rich , p. 349,, 2005 ISBN 978-1411655775
  7. ^ Dennis Kimbro Think and Grow Rich: a Black Choice, p. 6, Random House Inc., 1992 ISBN 978-0449219980
  8. ^ Brad Kearns How Tiger Does It, p. 24-5, McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008 ISBN 978-0071545648
  9. ^ Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill p. viii
  10. ^ Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill p. viii

[edit] External links

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