Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (originally Carnagey until 1922 and possibly somewhat later) (November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer, lecturer, and developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born in 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.
Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 in Maryville, Missouri, Carnegie was a poor farmer’s boy, the second son of James William Carnagey (b. Indiana, February 1852 – living 1910) and wife Amanda Elizabeth Harbison (b. Missouri, February 1858 – living 1910). 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. He 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 roadshow 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.
Maybe 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 five 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.
His 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 has been 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.
Dale Carnegie Training
Dale Carnegie Training is a teaching-based program for businesses based on Dale Carnegie’s teachings. It was founded in 1912 and is represented in more than 80 countries. More than 8 million people have completed Dale Carnegie Training.
The course comprises a proprietary process that uses team dynamics and intra-group activities to strengthen interpersonal relations, manage stress, and handle fast-changing workplace conditions. Other subjects included are communication, creative problem-solving, and focused leadership.
The course is based on a five-phase continuous improvement cycle:
1. Build greater self-confidence
2. Strengthen people skills
3. Enhance communication skills
4. Develop leadership skills
5. Improve our attitude and reducing stress
Dale Carnegie: Day 1
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.
Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.
People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
It is the life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Sh akes yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto.
Dale Carnegie: Day 2
Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it… that is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear.
If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.
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.
Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Dale Carnegie: Day 3
Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.
Achievement is getting what you want. Ha happiness is wanting what you get.
Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.
The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.