Twenty Century American Author, Educator and Public Speaker. He was best known as the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” which has sold over 15 million copies through many editions and remains popular today. He was also famous for developing corporate training courses that emphasized public speaking and interpersonal skills. He was born Dale Carnegey in Maryville, Missouri, on November 24, 1888, the son of a poor farmer. As a boy, Dale found that he had a natural talent for public speaking, which he put to work in church and local events, including the high school debating team. He was determined to go to college, but couldn't afford to board at the school. So still having to get up at 3 a.m. every day to milk his parents' cows, he managed to commute every day on horseback to State Teacher's College in Warrensburg to earn his degree. Upon graduation from college, Dale worked several jobs with no great success until he took a job selling bacon, soap and lard for Armour & Co. in their lowest producing territory, South Dakota. Dale’s skill as a salesman turned it into their most profitable territory, and in the process he was able to save $500. He took that money and went to New York to make a career in public speaking. Starting at $2 per night teaching public speaking classes at the YMCA, Dale quickly made a name for himself and was soon lecturing to packed houses, earning $500 weekly at the age of 24, an impressive income at that time. When he booked one of his lectures into New York’s famous Carnegie Hall, he changed his name from “Carnegey” to “Carnegie” to take advantage of the famous location and adopt the more popular spelling of his name. Dale lectured extensively across the U.S. and in Europe and he began to write instructional pamphlets to sell in addition to his speaking services. After several years he was able to turn the pamphlets into his first book: “Public Speaking: A Practical Course for Business Men.” The success of his initial works inspired Dale to publish his most famous book in 1936, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Regarded as the first modern self-help book, it embodied Carnegie's advice on dealing with others, summarized by one reviewer as "Smile, be friendly, never argue or find fault, or tell a person he is wrong." It would become an overnight best seller, and in time made him rich and famous, with more than five million copies sold during his lifetime. Apart from his career as a prominent author and lecturer, his counsel was frequently sought by world leaders and he wrote newspaper columns and hosted his own daily radio show. He also founded what is today a worldwide network of over 3,000 instructors, with offices in more than 70 countries. Dale Carnegie’s death on November 1, 1955, in Forest Hills, New York ended a career which shows that no matter how humble your beginnings there is always the possibility for success through confidence and determination.
Bio by: Edward Parsons