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Dale Carnegie is the author of How To Win Friends and Influence People, one of the bestselling self-help books of all time.
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Dale Carnegie was born November 24, 1888, Maryville, MO. Born poor, he worked as a traveling salesman before teaching public speaking at a YMCA. He was soon lecturing to packed houses and collected his lectures into books. His How To Win Friends and Influence People won him a national following and the Dale Carnegie Institute established chapters throughout the country. He died in 1955.
Writer; lecturer. Born as Dale Carnagey on November 24, 1888, in Maryville, Missouri. His parents, James William and Amanda Elizabeth Carnagey, were impoverished farmers. When Carnegie was in middle school, his family moved to Warrensburg, Missouri. As a boy, Carnegie was unskilled in athletics but learned that he could still make friends and earn respect because he had a way with words. In high school, he frequently attended Chautauqua assemblies. These events brought entertainment to rural communities throughout the country and featured popular speakers, musicians, entertainers and preachers. Carnegie was so inspired by a number of the speakers he heard at these gatherings that he decided to join the school debate team, where he became a skillful orator.
After graduating from high school in 1906, Carnegie attended the local State Teachers College in Warrensburg. His family was too poor to afford the $1 a day it cost for room and board, so Carnegie continued to live at home while riding to and from school daily on horseback. He took advantage of these solitary rides to practice reciting speeches and fine-tuning his oratory style. Carnegie frequently entered intercollegiate public speaking competitions and won the majority of contests in which he participated. His prowess as a public speaker was such that other students offered to pay him to train them. After graduating from college in 1908, Carnegie took a job as a traveling salesman for the International Correspondence Schools, based out of Alliance, Nebraska. He then took another sales job for the meatpacking business Armour and Company. By 1911, Carnegie had saved up $500, which was enough to quit his job, move to New York City and try to make it as an actor.
Carnegie briefly studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and then landed the leading role of Dr. Hartley in a traveling production of Polly of the Circus. However, he hated the experience and quickly decided that a life in the theater was not for him. Later, Carnegie enlisted in the United States Army and served for a little over a year at Camp Upton on Long Island during World War I. After his discharge from the military, Carnegie was hired as the business manager of a traveling lecture course taught by Lowell Thomas, the writer and broadcaster best known for his coverage of Lawrence of Arabia.
At the conclusion of the Lowell Thomas tour, Carnegie returned to New York and considered what to do next with his life. He recalled how students had offered to pay him money to teach them public speaking and realized that this skill was what helped him succeed as a salesman, so Carnegie had the idea to teach public speaking classes for adults.
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