Dale Harbison Carnegie (originally Carnagey) (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. He was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), a bestseller that remains popular today.
You knew that, but did you now that he was born and raised in Missouri? Well, he was born in Maryville, Missouri, the son of a farmer. His family moved to Belton, Missouri (also the hometown of Harry Truman) when he was a small child. He graduated from the State Teacher’s College in Warrensburg, worked as a salesman, and moved to New York City. After failing as an actor (!), he taught a public speaking class at the YMCA. In his first session, he ran out of material. Improvising, he suggested that students speak about “something that made them angry” and discovered that the technique made speakers unafraid to address a public audience. From this 1912 début, the Dale Carnegie Course evolved.
Most of what he said is just common sense.
“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
“Success is getting what you want..Happiness is wanting what you get.”
“When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.”
“Actions speak louder than words, and a smile says, ‘I like you. You make me happy. I am glad to see you.”
“If you can’t sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there and worrying. It’s the worry that gets you, not the loss of sleep.”
But that doesn’t make what he said any less true.
One more fun fact about Dale Carnegie: He worked as assistant to Lowell Thomas in his famous travelogue “With Allenby in Palestine and Lawrence in Arabia”. He managed and delivered the travelogue in Canada.
Well, son of a gun. A toast to Dale Carnegie on his birthday and to T.E. Lawrence any old day!