Celebrating 70 Years of Winning Friends and Influencing People

In 1936, Dale Carnegie put pen to paper and created one of the most important business books of the modern age: How to Win Friends and Influence People. This essential self-help book enjoyed 10 years on the New York Times Bestseller List and has sold more than 30 million copies since it was originally published 70 years ago.


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“It has been made overwhelmingly apparent that the words of Mr. Dale Carnegie are universal, inventive and applicable, even 70 years later,” said Peter Handal, chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Dale Carnegie Training, which Carnegie himself founded in 1912. “With all my travels from business meetings in China, to sales conferences in India, I have found that How to Win Friends and Influence People still maintains international recognition and impact.”

Carnegie’s observations on human behavior and insight into human psychology still appeal to people who want to change their lives. His unique genius for understanding human nature, as well as his timeless advice, has been translated into 35 languages. It has also been so widely quoted that it has become a part of everyday life. Chances are, you have heard one of these gems recently, or perhaps even said them yourself:

  • “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”
  • “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most fools do.”
  • “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.”
  • “Learn to love, respect, and enjoy other people.”
  • “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.”
  • “Fear not those who argue but those who dodge.”
  • “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”

Dale Carnegie’s wisdom did not apply only to individuals. It also applied to businesses. Today, the people skills Carnegie advocated are more highly valued than they have ever been. There is also growing consensus that improving working relationships improves the bottom line.

“Look at our financials and you’ll see that Weis Markets is having a very solid year,” Jim Kessler, Human Resources Director of Weiss Markets, Inc., a large regional grocery chain with more than 19,000 employees, said. “Dale Carnegie helped us institute the understanding that the better we take care of our internal customer, the better we’ll take care of our external customer. [….] The impact of the training shows on our bottom line.”

Although Carnegie himself passed away on November 1, 1955, his work continues through his writings and Dale Carnegie Training, which has evolved into a performance-based training company with offices around the globe. Dale Carnegie Training focuses on giving businesspeople the opportunity to sharpen their skills and improve their performance, allowing them to build positive, steady, profitable results. Corporate specialists work with organization in many ways to apply Carnegie’s core fundamentals to design solutions unleashing employee potential and enabling organizations to heighten performance.

In addition to the books and corporate training, Dale Carnegie Training also offers public training classes and seminars in leadership, communication, sales and presentations ensuring personal growth and skill development. More than 7 million people have taken Dale Carnegie Training courses, which are available in 75 countries and 29 languages. The company also provides leadership, sales and management training to more than 400 of the Fortune 500 companies.

In September, Dale Carnegie was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians. Carnegie was born November 24, 1888, on the family farm in Maryville, Missouri. A bust of the famous motivational speaker and trainer joins those of more than 20 other famous Missourians, including Walt Disney and Harry Truman, on the third-floor Rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Honored by Life magazine as one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th century, he was a syndicated newspaper columnist, radio personality, and sought-after advisor to world leader, as well as a prominent speaker and trainer. Yet he remained conscious of his rural roots and the debt he owed to others, once writing, “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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