About Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill (October 26, 1883–November 8, 1970) was an American author who was one of the earliest producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, is one of the best-selling books of all time.
According to his official biographer, Hill was born into poverty in a two-room cabin in the town of
At the age of thirteen he began writing as a "mountain reporter" for small-town newspapers. He used his earnings as a reporter to enter law school, but soon had to withdraw for financial reasons. The turning point in his career is considered to have been in 1908 with his assignment, as part of a series of articles about famous men, to interview industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who at the time was one of the most powerful men in the world. Hill discovered that Carnegie believed that the process of success could be elaborated in a simple formula that could be duplicated by the average person. Impressed with Hill, Carnegie commissioned him (without pay and only offering to provide him with letters of reference) to interview over 500 successful men and women, many of them millionaires, in order to discover and publish this formula for success.
As part of his research, Hill interviewed many of the most famous people of the time, including Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, George Eastman, Henry Ford, Elmer Gates, John D. Rockefeller, Charles M. Schwab, F.W. Woolworth, William Wrigley Jr., John Wanamaker, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Charles Allen Ward and Jennings Randolph. The project lasted over twenty years, during which Hill became an advisor to Carnegie. The formula for rags-to-riches success that Hill and Carnegie formulated was published initially in 1928 in his book The Law of Success. The formula was later published in home-study courses, including the seventeen-volume "Mental Dynamite" series until 1941.
From 1919 to 1920 Hill was the editor and publisher of Hill's Golden Rule magazine. It was during this time he wrote a letter to Charles F. Haanel in which he praised his book The Master Key System. In the letter he writes: "..I believe I ought to inform you that my present success and the success which has followed my work as President of the Napoleon Hill Institute is due largely to the principles laid down in The Master Key System."
In 1930 he published The Ladder to Success. From 1933 to 1936 Hill was an unpaid advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt.
In 1937 Hill elaborated his success formula in his most famous work, Think and Grow Rich, which is still in print, in several versions, and has sold more than thirty million copies. In 1960, Hill published an abridged version of the book, which for years was the only one generally available. In 2004, Ross Cornwell published Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised, which restored the book to its original form, with slight revisions, and added the first comprehensive endnotes, index, and appendix the book had ever contained. (The Cornwell-Hill "collaboration" resulted from the former's service as editor-in-chief of "Think & Grow Rich Newsletter," published for the Napoleon Hill Foundation.)
Napoleon Hill and The Master Mind
Hill is also credited with coining the phrase 'Master Mind' (more commonly, Mastermind). The 'Master Mind' may be defined as: “coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” In Think and Grow Rich, Hill discusses his creation of Master Mind groups and how these groups could multiply an individual's brain power and continually motivate positive emotions. However, the Master Mind was a deeper and more powerful connection than mere synergetic cooperation would suggest, and requires an understanding of Hill's belief's about the brain and the nature of energy (particularly thought energy) within Thomas Edison's cosmological understanding of matter and energy.
Hill states there are two characteristics of the Master Mind principle; one is economic, the other psychic. Economic advantages arise from sharing and cooperation with others. As to the other, Hill states: "No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind." He believed that the human mind is a form of energy, part of it spiritual in nature. He states that when the minds of two people are coordinated in a spirit of harmony, the spiritual units of energy of each mind form an affinity, which constitutes the "psychic" phase of the Master Mind.
For his development of the Master Mind concept and other principles of success, Hill was awarded an honorary doctor of literature degree (LittD) by