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 Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale

Birth
Bowersville, Greene County, Ohio, USA
Death 24 Dec 1993 (aged 95)
Pawling, Dutchess County, New York, USA
Burial Pawling, Dutchess County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 11389826 · View Source
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Protestant Clergyman, Author. The philosopher believer and teacher of "Positive Thinking" passed away on Christmas Eve after a stroke at age 95. He had just completed his last book at age 90, when a surprise birthday party was held with 1,000 guests at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. Norman Vincent Peale was an active speaker to the end, addressing more then a hundred organizations and groups each year. The small town of Bowersville, Ohio was his birthplace, the son of physician-turned minister, Charles Clifford Peale and Anna Delaney Peale. He was raised and grew up in many Ohio towns due to pastoral assignments by his father...Highland, Cincinnati, Norwood, Westwood, Greenville and Bellefontaine. He'd graduated from Methodist Ohio Wesleyan University but wasn't ready to commit to a lifetime in the clergy; Peale spent a year reporting for newspapers in Findlay and Detroit, then was ordained a Methodist minister in 1922. He went on to earn a master's degree from Boston University changing his religious denomination from Methodist to Reformed Church in America in order to qualify as pastor of New York City's Marble Collegiate Church. The historic church whose cornerstone was laid in 1851 was struggling with membership comprising barely 500 in the congregation. The Marble Church would become his home for fifty two years and under his stewardship, with his wife Ruth as partner the membership increased to thousands and was a springboard toward national fame. He spread his gospel through sermons, syndicated newspaper columns, radio and television. Dr. Peale hosted a weekly radio program, "The Art of Living" for 54 years (1935-1989). His philosophy that there was a connection between optimism and good health, faith, healing, stress and illness conveyed to millions during his life also served him well. With illness and stress at a minimum in his own personal life, he achieved an active old age before finally suffering a stroke a month before his death. Hospitalized then returned home, he passed away in the afternoon the day before Christmas at his Pawling, New York farm. His wife Ruth of 63 years was at his bedside. His service was held at the Marble Collegiate Church with his three children giving recollections of their father with Ruth announcing a determination to carry on the work of positive thinking while offering a free copy of his book "The Power of Positive Thinking" to any one who would ask by writing. Many did, over 80,000 copies were distributed. Ruth Stafford Peale still carries on at the age of 100. Legacy...The Center for Positive Thinking was dedicated in Pawling, New York in 1988. The large complex is a library displaying memorabilia covering Peale's life and a Holy Land Museum. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Reagan. Peale gave back to Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware returning as a trustee and lived to see the university build a chapel in his name. In 1945, Dr. Peale, his wife, Ruth Stafford Peale and Raymond Thornburg, a Pawling, New York businessman founded Guideposts Magazine, a place for celebrities and ordinary people to relate inspirational stories. It thrives to this day. Working with psychiatrist Dr. Smiley Blanton founded the nonprofit Institutes of Religion and Health" and outpatient clinic in Boston. Along with educator Kenneth Beebe founded "The Horatio Alger Association" which recognizes and honors Americans who have been successful in spite of very difficult times. Dr. Peale wrote 46 books. "The Power of Positive Thinking" published in 1952, remains his best work. Its record is staggering...20 million copies sold, New York Times bestseller list for 186 consecutive weeks and translated into 41 languages. He was the subject of a 1964 film.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: J Spencer
  • Added: 19 Jul 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11389826
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Norman Vincent Peale (31 May 1898–24 Dec 1993), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11389826, citing Quaker Hill Cemetery, Pawling, Dutchess County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .