The Life of Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale is arguably one of the most influential religious figures who impacted the field of personal development throughout the 20th century. 

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Norman Vincent Peale was born in Bowersville, Ohio May 31, 1898.

Peale was born the oldest of three children, their father, Charles Clifford Peale, was a physician turned Methodist minister in southern Ohio.


Early career 

Peale started delivering newspapers, selling door-to-door and working in grocery stores as his first jobs.



In the early 1920's Peale decided to start studying Theology and social ethics to further develop his career options for the future, at this time he also started working as a reporter for the Morning Republic.



Due to his religious background and history of his father, Peale was ordained as a preacher in 1922 for the Methodist Church, Berkeley church.



Peale graduated with a bachelor in sacred theology and in a master of arts and social ethics in 1924.


Growth in career



Peale married his wife, Ruth Stafford, and raised 3 children while living in Manhattan at the time.



In 1931 Peale gained his Doctor of divinity degree from the Syracuse University.

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The great depression


Throughout the years of the 1930's and 1940's Peale's message gained significant attention as a message of fundamentalism with a hint of new thought and positive thinking. 


Christianity was preached through self-examination, prayer and gaining control by visualization techniques and practices.



Peale expanded his Doctors degree by founding and leading his own clinic as the American Foundation for Religion and Psychiatry to guide and support different people of all ages struggling with the difficult times ahead.


World war 2

Peale's message gained significant attention and created standing ovations throughout different churches at the time of World War 2 as a spiritual message of new found hope.


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author / speaker

Later on in his career, Peale gained a love for literature and started writing his own books as an author that combined faith with the fundamentals of success and positive thinking.



Peale gained some attention with his first books and by that started writing leaflet guideposts that were published weekly in several magazines. These leaflets were mainly targeted to businessmen all over the US.


The great success - The Power of Positive Thinking

In the year 1952, Peale became a worldwide phenomena when he published one of the world best selling religious books ever in history! 


The Power of Positive Thinking became a bestseller to this day, translated in 41 languages.


The book became a must-read for anyone that struggled with motivation and faith!

Last years of his life


Motivational seminar keynote speaker

In 1984, Peale retired at the age of 86 years old as a pastor and devoted himself into lecturing seminars and keynote events to further inspire people all over the world.


Medal of freedom

During this time, Peale was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom by the President, Ronald Reagan.



Peale died peacefully in his sleep on 24 December 1993.


Final thoughts


Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is one of the most influential religious speakers of the 20th century.

He left a significant impact on my life as a young adult author. 


With this story I would like to thank and honor Dr. Norman Vincent Peale's legacy with uttermost respect and gratitude! 


During his life Peale wrote more than 46 books! A true inspiration for any author!


If you haven't read, The Power of Positive Thinking I strongly recommend so!


I would like to leave this story with some quotes by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, 


“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”


“Positive thinking works wonders”


“Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.”


“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”

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