was one of the original founders of the
personal-success literature movement and
the author of the best-selling book Think
and Grow Rich. Hill considered all his
works part of his "Philosophy of
Achievement" and his mantra, "what
the mind of man can conceive and believe,
it can achieve" became the foundation
for his works.
Hill was born on October 26, 1883 in the
rural town of Pound in Wise County, Virginia.
By the age of twelve, both his parents
were dead and by the time Hill was thirteen
he was writing for local mountain newspapers
to help save money for school. Although
he entered law school for a short time,
Hill eventually had to drop out due to
lack of funds.
returned to writing and, as part of a
series of articles assigned to him, he
went to interview Andrew
Carnegie, a very wealthy and powerful
man. During the interview, Carnegie disclosed
his belief that any man could achieve
great success by following a simple formula.
Carnegie then commissioned Hill to interview
500 successful people in order to discover
this formula and publish it. There was
no money paid to Hill for this project,
just the challenge of finding the secret
his research, Hill interviewed numerous
influential people including Thomas
D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt
and Woodrow Wilson. It took him over twenty
years to interview all of the people on
his list. As a result of his research,
however, Hill became an advisor to Carnegie
and they published The Law of Success
by means of the Philosophy of Achievement
in 1928. Originally published as a study
course, it eventually became a lengthy
home-study course that included seventeen
volumes of the "Mental Dynamite"
his time with Carnegie, Napoleon Hill
became the editor and publisher of the
Hill's Golden Rule magazine, published
a book called The Ladder to Success and
also served as an unpaid advisor to President
Franklin Roosevelt from 1933 to 1936.
1937 Hill broke down the basics of the
Philosophy of Achievement and published
his work in the book Think
and Grow Rich. This became
Hill's most famous work and has sold over
30 million copies. Two years later, in
1939, Hill published How to Sell Your
Way through Life, another best-selling
book on personal achievement.
1953 Napoleon Hill was working closely
with W. Clement Stone teaching Stone's
own "Philosophy of Personal Achievement".
Hill began focusing more on the idea that
"thoughts are things" and that
an individual can manifest his or her
success simply by sharing ideas and finding
like-minded individuals. Hill also wrote
about the importance of the "Golden
Rule" of giving and the understanding
the difference between giving and exchanging
with the community.
his life, Hill was open about his Christian
faith and believed that his religion played
a very important supporting role in his
beliefs about success. Faith, in fact,
always played a major role in Hill's philosophies
of achievement. Napoleon Hill died on
November 8, 1970. His last book, You Can
Work Your Own Miracles, was published
after his death.
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