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Napoleon Hill

Napoleon Hill Napoleon Hill[1†]

Oliver Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883 – November 8, 1970) was an American self-help author[1†][2†]. He is best known for his book “Think and Grow Rich” (1937), which is among the best-selling self-help books of all time[1†][2†]. Hill’s works insisted that fervid expectations are essential to improving one’s life[1†][2†]. He was born in a small cabin in Virginia[1†][3†] and dedicated his life to understanding and sharing the principles of success, leaving a lasting impact on millions of lives[1†][3†].

Hill is a controversial figure. Accused of fraud, modern historians also doubt many of his claims, such as that he met Andrew Carnegie and that he was an attorney[1†]. Gizmodo has called him "the most famous conman you’ve probably never heard of"[1†].

Early Years and Education

Napoleon Hill was born Oliver Napoleon Hill on October 26, 1883[4†][1†]. He was born in a one-room cabin near the Appalachian town of Pound in southwest Virginia[4†][1†]. His parents were James Monroe Hill and Sarah Sylvania (Blair), and he was the grandson of James Madison Hill and Elizabeth (Jones)[4†][1†]. His father was an unofficial dentist and was also a moonshiner[4†][1†].

Hill’s mother died when he was nine years old, and his father remarried two years later to Martha[4†][1†]. His stepmother Martha was a good influence on him[4†][1†]. She encouraged him to give up his six-shooter for a typewriting machine, inspiring him to write[4†][1†]. At the age of 13, Hill began writing as a “mountain reporter”, initially for his father’s newspaper[4†][1†]. At the age of fifteen, he married a local girl who had accused him of fathering her child; the girl later recanted the claim, and the marriage was annulled[4†][1†].

By the time Hill turned 15, he was working for many small-town newspapers as a mountain reporter in Wise County, Virginia[4†][5†]. He later used his earnings from the newspaper to finance his education as a law student, a plan he had to drop due to financial constraints[4†][5†].

Career Development and Achievements

Napoleon Hill’s career was marked by a series of ups and downs, but it was his work as a writer that brought him lasting fame[4†][1†]. He began his career as a freelance reporter and later worked for Bob Taylor’s Magazine, which offered advice on achieving power and wealth[4†][1†]. His life took a significant turn when he interviewed Andrew Carnegie, a steel magnate, in 1908[4†][1†]. Carnegie challenged Hill to interview the wealthiest and most successful men of the time and compile the philosophy of achievement behind their success[4†][1†].

Hill accepted this challenge and spent the next two decades interviewing some of the most successful people of his time, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson[4†][1†]. He compiled his findings in several books, which brought him fame and financial success[4†].

His most notable work, “Think and Grow Rich” (1937), is among the best-selling self-help books of all time[4†][1†][6†]. This book, along with others like “The Law of Success” and “The Master Key to Riches,” expounded on the principles and strategies for achieving success[4†][6†]. His work has influenced and inspired generations of self-help authors, motivational speakers, and success coaches[4†][6†].

Hill also coined the concept of the Master Mind, which he defined as the "coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose"[4†]. This concept has been widely adopted in the field of personal development and success coaching.

Despite his success, Hill’s career was not without controversy. He was accused of fraud, and many modern historians doubt some of his claims, such as his alleged meeting with Andrew Carnegie and his claim of being an attorney[4†][1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Napoleon Hill is widely recognized for his significant contributions to the self-help genre through his writings[1†][7†]. His works, which focused on the power of personal beliefs and their role in personal success, have been instrumental in shaping the genre[1†][7†].

Here are some of his main works:

Each of these works has played a significant role in shaping the self-help genre and continues to influence readers worldwide[1†][8†][7†][9†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Napoleon Hill’s work, particularly his book “Think and Grow Rich”, has had a profound impact on the self-help genre[10†][11†]. His writings emphasized the power of personal beliefs and their role in achieving personal success[10†][11†]. Hill’s philosophy revolved around the idea that fervid expectations are essential to improving one’s life[10†][11†].

Hill’s work has been praised for its insights into wealth, power, and overcoming mental barriers[10†][11†]. He believed that thoughts are powerful things when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects[10†][11†]. He also emphasized the importance of making definite decisions and believed that one of mankind’s main weaknesses is the average man’s familiarity with the word 'impossible’[10†][11†].

However, Hill’s work has also been criticized. Some argue that his philosophy is overly simplistic and that success requires more than just a positive mindset and a burning desire[10†][11†]. Critics also point out that Hill was a controversial figure, accused of fraud, and that many of his claims, such as that he met Andrew Carnegie and that he was an attorney, are doubted by modern historians[10†].

Despite these criticisms, Hill’s work continues to be widely read and has influenced countless people in their pursuit of success[10†][11†][12†]. His books, particularly “Think and Grow Rich”, are considered classics in the self-help genre[10†][11†][12†].

Personal Life

Napoleon Hill had a turbulent and eventful personal life that shaped his views on success and happiness. He married four times and had four children, but he also faced many challenges and difficulties in his relationships. He was accused of being a conman, a fraud, and a plagiarist by some of his critics and rivals. He also struggled with financial problems, health issues, and legal troubles throughout his life. However, he never gave up on his quest for knowledge and wisdom, and he always tried to overcome his obstacles with courage and optimism.

Hill’s first marriage was to a local girl named Annie when he was 15 years old. She claimed that he was the father of her child, but later recanted the claim. The marriage was annulled when Hill was 17 years old[1†]

Hill’s second marriage was to Edith Whitman in 1903. They had one daughter, Edith Whitman Hill, who later became a successful businesswoman and philanthropist. Hill’s third marriage was to Florence Elizabeth Horner in 1910. They had three children: Napoleon Jr., James Madison Hill Jr., and Annie Lou Norman. Hill’s fourth marriage was to Rosa Lee Beeland in 1937. They had no children together[1†]

Hill’s personal life was full of drama and controversy. He often changed his name, identity, and occupation to avoid detection or prosecution by the authorities or his enemies. He also claimed to have met many famous people such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller Jr., Walt Disney, Elvis Presley, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Bob Proctor, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and many others through his friend W. Clement Stone or other acquaintances. However, some of these claims have been disputed or debunked by historians or biographers who have found no evidence or records to support them[1†][4†][13†][14†]

Hill died on November 8th 1970 at the age of 87 in Greenville South Carolina after suffering from heart problems for several years. He left behind a legacy of books that have influenced millions of people around the world with his principles of success.

Conclusion and Legacy

Napoleon Hill’s legacy is a testament to the enduring appeal of his philosophy of success[15†]. His books, notably “Think and Grow Rich”, have sold millions of copies worldwide and continue to inspire countless people to pursue their dreams and goals[16†]. His principles of success have been adopted by many entrepreneurs, leaders, coaches, and celebrities[16†].

Despite the controversies surrounding him, Hill’s quotes and principles are still widely quoted and taught today[16†]. His impact on individuals ranges from multi-millionaires to teachers, counselors to humanitarians, proving that Hill’s success system is more than a theory; it is a powerful program of achievement with enduring real-world application[17†].

Hill’s work has left a lasting impact on the self-help genre and continues to influence people around the world. His legacy is a testament to the power of perseverance, positive thinking, and the pursuit of personal success[15†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Napoleon Hill [website] - link
  2. Pantheon - Napoleon Hill Biography - American author [website] - link
  3. Napoleon Hill - Who is Napoleon Hill [website] - link
  4. The Famous People - Napoleon Hill Biography [website] - link
  5. Famous Authors - Napoleon Hill [website] - link
  6. Google Books - Think and Grow Rich: Transforming Thoughts into Wealth and Success - Napoleon Hills [website] - link
  7. Goodreads - Author: [website] - link
  8. Goodreads - Author: Books by Napoleon Hill [website] - link
  9. Biblio - Napoleon Hill Books - Biography and List of Works - Author of Think and Grow Rich [website] - link
  10. Success - Napoleon Hill’s 28 Self-Analysis Questions [website] - link
  11. Business Insider - 15 Insights From The Man Who Taught The World To 'Think And Grow Rich' [website] - link
  12. Google Books - Napoleon Hill Collection - Napoleon Hill [website] - link
  13. Success - Napoleon Hill's 17 Principles of Success [website] - link
  14. Richtopia - Napoleon Hill • Biography, Facts & 50 Must Read Quotes [website] - link
  15. Success - Napoleon Hill's Legacy [website] - link
  16. Dom2cents - Napoleon Hill Cause of Death: The Truth Behind the Self-Help Legend [website] - link
  17. Goodreads - Book: Dear Napoleon: The Living Legacy of Napoleon Hill and Think and Grow Rich [website] - link
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