Napoleon Hill

From Academic Kids

"Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything." -- Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883November 8, 1970) was an American author who is widely recognized as the founder 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.

According to his official biographer, Hill was born into poverty in a two-room cabin in the town of Pound River in rural Wise County, Virginia. His mother died when he was 10 years old. His father remarried two years later.

At age 13, he began writing as a "mountain reporter" for small-town newspapers. He used his earnings as a reporter to enter law school, but had soon to withdraw because of financial reasons. The turning point in his career is considered to have been in 1908 with his assignment, as part of a series of biographies of famous men, to interview industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who at the time was one of the richest 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 to interview over 500 successful men and women, many of them millionaires, in order to discover and publish this formula for success.

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, Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, and Jennings Randolph. The project lasted over twenty years, during which Hill became an advisor to Carnegie. The formula for rags-to-riches success that Hill and Carnegie formulated was published initially in 1928 in his book The Law of Success. The formula was later published in home-study courses, including the 17-volume "Mental Dynamite" series until 1941.

From 1919-1920, Hill was editor and publisher of Hill's Golden Rule magazine. In 1930, he published The Ladder to Success. From 1933 to 1936, Hill was an advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt.

In 1937, Hill elaborated this success formula in his most famous work, Think and Grow Rich which is still in print and has sold over 30 million copies to date.

In 1939, he published How to Sell Your Way through Life. In 1953, he published How to Raise Your Own Salary. From 1952-1962, he worked with W. Clement Stone of the Combined Insurance Company of America to teach Stone's "Philosophy of Personal Achievement" and to lecture on the "Science of Success". Partly as a result of his work with Stone, in 1960 he published Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude. He died in 1970 in South Carolina, and in 1971 his final work, You Can Work Your Own Miracles, was published posthumously.

List of selected books written by Hill

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