Dale Carnegie – the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People

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Dale Carnegie - the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People

More than 8 million people in more than 80 countries have completed Dale Carnegie Training in Effective Speaking and Human Relations. Dale Carnegie Course was founded in 1912. It’s aimed to strengthen interpersonal relations, build greater self-confidence, develop leadership skills, manage stress and handle fast-changing workplace conditions.

Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (originally Carnagey until 1922 and possibly somewhat later) (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer, lecturer, and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born into poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), a massive bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948), Lincoln the Unknown (1932), and several other books. One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s reaction to them.

“I am very fond of strawberries and cream, but I have found that for some strange reason, fish prefer worms. So when I went fishing, I didn’t think about what I wanted. I thought about what they wanted. I didn’t bait the hook with strawberries and cream. Rather, I dangled a worm or grasshopper in front of the fish.”

Biography

Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 in Maryville, Missouri, Carnegie was a poor farmer’s boy, the second son of James William Carnagey and his wife Amanda Elizabeth Harbison. His family moved to Belton, Missouri when he was a small child. In his teens, though still having to get up at 4 a.m. every day to milk his parents’ cows, he managed to obtain an education at the State Teacher’s College in Warrensburg. His first job after college was selling correspondence courses to ranchers; then he moved on to selling bacon, soap and lard for Armour & Company. He was successful to the point of making his sales territory of South Omaha, Nebraska, the national leader for the firm.

After saving $500, Dale Carnegie quit sales in 1911 in order to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a Chautauqua lecturer. Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.”

Dale Carnegie ended up instead attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, but found little success as an actor, though it is written that he played the role of Dr. Hartley in a road show of Polly of the Circus. When the production ended, he returned to New York, unemployed, nearly broke, and living at the YMCA on 125th Street. It was there that he got the idea to teach public speaking, and he persuaded the “Y” manager to allow him to instruct a class in return for 80% of the net proceeds. In his first session, he had run 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 debut, the Dale Carnegie Course evolved. Carnegie had tapped into the average American’s desire to have more self-confidence, and by 1914, he was earning $500 – the equivalent of nearly $10,000 now – every week.

Perhaps one of Carnegie’s most successful marketing moves was to change the spelling of his last name from “Carnagey” to Carnegie, at a time when Andrew Carnegie (unrelated) was a widely revered and recognized name. By 1916, Dale was able to rent Carnegie Hall itself for a lecture to a packed house. Carnegie’s first collection of his writings was Public Speaking: a Practical Course for Business Men (1926), later entitled Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business (1932). His crowning achievement, however, was when Simon & Schuster published How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book was a bestseller from its debut in 1936, in its 17th printing within a few months. By the time of Carnegie’s death, the book had sold 5 million copies in 31 languages, and there had been 450,000 graduates of his Dale Carnegie Institute. It has been stated in the book that he had critiqued over 150,000 speeches in his participation in the adult education movement of the time. During World War I he served in the U.S. Army.

On July 24, 1939, Carnegie made his first visit to Japan. Invited by the Japanese Board of Tourist Industry and Japanese Government Railways in an effort to improve communications and cultural understanding between America and Japan, Carnegie arrived on a self-described “Relaxation Tour.” After his steam ship docked in Yokohama, he made his way to the famous Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. From July 24 to July 30, he met representatives from the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo and the Nichi Nichi Tokyo newspaper in Karuizawa. On July 31, he was the guest of honour giving a talk on human relations at a special luncheon held at the American Club in Tokyo. Carnegie’s travels continued as far south as Shimonoseki, visiting Miyanoshita, Kawana, Atami, Gamagori, Gifu, Yamada, Toba, Nara, Kyoto and Hiroshima along the way. On August 6, he took a steamboat from Shimonoseki to Pusan, Korea where he embarked on a brief tour of the country, eventually making his way to Beijing and Shanghai. On September 1, 1939, he made his second visit to Japan before returning home. This time he visited the Daibutsu in Kamakura and again stayed at the Imperial Hotel. He departed for America on September 4, 1939. In July 1953, Carnegie made his third visit to Japan, meeting friends from his previous visit and taking time to enjoy the sights of Kyoto

Carnegie’s first marriage ended in divorce in 1931. On November 5, 1944, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he married Dorothy Price Vanderpool, who also had been divorced. Vanderpool had two daughters; Rosemary, from her first marriage, and Donna Dale from their marriage together.

Carnegie died at his home in Forest Hills, New York. He was buried in the Belton, Cass County, Missouri, cemetery. The official biography from Dale Carnegie & Associates, Inc. states that he died of Hodgkin’s disease, complicated with uremia, on November 1, 1955.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Written in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People is still a popular book to date in business and Business Communication skills. Dale Carnegie‘s four part book is packed with advice to create success in business and personal lives. How to Win Friends and Influence People is a tool used in Dale Carnegie Training and includes the following parts:

  1. Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  2. Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
  3. Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  4. Part Four: Be a Leader – How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

“The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules whose would you use?”

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