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Napoleon Hill’s Biography

Napoleon Hill’s Biography

October 26, 1983, marked the birth of one of the fore-producers of the modern genre of personal-success literature. Napoleon Hill has in his lifetime created a legacy that makes him live continually in spite of his death on November 8, 1970.

His most outstanding work that came out in the title, “Think and Grow Rich” is notable for being one of the best selling books of all time.

Teenage Life and Humble Beginning

Hill came from a very humble beginning yet he was able to make himself a highly esteemed man in the society. In a commentary from his official biographer, we learned that Hill was born in a two-room apartment in the town of Pound in the local village of Wise County, Virginia.

Using his early teenage skills to meet his own daily needs, He began writing at the age of thirteen as a “mountain reporter” for local newspapers. An accumulated savings of the stipends he earned, together with his intelligence afforded him an entrance into law school but soon, he had to withdraw school because of his continuous financial constraint.

The Turn Around Encounter and Carrier Life

Considerably, 1908 marked the dawn of a new beginning in his life when he was assigned to interview the great industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who at that time happened to be one of the leading figures in the category of the world’s richest men. He began his journey of triumphant life when he featured in the series of compounding biographies of great men. In the place of interview, Hill was able to discover Cargenie’s belief that the process of success could be explained in a clear and simple principle that can be put to use by every person irrespective of his social status. Carnegie was so marveled at Hill’s intellectual skills that he commissioned him to interview more than five hundred reputable businessmen an women, most of them being millionaires for the major purpose of publishing the success principles. However, Hill was not paid for his services but was only provided letters of reference by Carnegie.

The research commenced and Hill was able to interview great figures in the persons of Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John D. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Jennings Randolph, and William H. Taft among others. The research project took a long time lasting for about twenty years. In the process of this time, Hill became an advisor to Carnegie. With the thoughts of Carnegie refined and formulated by Hill, the principles that ensure the passage from poverty to wealth was published initially in 1928 bearing the title “The Law of Success”. The book majorly features a formula for rags-to-riches success and it was eventually published in home-study courses and also in the seventeenth- volume ” Mental Dynamite ” series until 1941.

A more elaborate version of Hill’s success formula was beautifully expressed in Hill’s most outstanding and famous book, “Think and Grow Rich”. The printing of this book still commences to this day with more than thirty million copies sold thus far.

In 1939, he made another notable achievement with the posthumous publishing of the book, ‘You can Work your Own Miracles’.

Napoleon Hill gave himself wholly to the study of the formula for success. The driving force for such due and adequate attention was because of Carnegie’s view that if a student was taught the application of the success formula, the time that would be needed in school to ensure a great outcome can be cut to half with even a better result. This affirmed the greatness of this formula for success. Carnegie revealed that this formula had been adopted by all the leading businessmen and women and inventors of the 19th and early 20th century. To assess the authenticity of the success formula, Carnegie tasked Hill to go and verify the application of the success formula from America’s forefront 500 richest people and other notable people too. In summary, the formula can be expressed in the maxim, ” Whatever you give will come back to you”, a common concept that has guaranteed many businesses triumph today when put to use. The concept applies to all time, places and systems of thought. Taking this principle to the field of practice, Hill gave examples that contained its great significance. One such example is the creation of the United State Steel Corporation which brought about an estimated profit of $600,000,000 making a breakthrough for new wealth in the early twentieth century.

The originality of this formula success and its capacity to guarantee great wealth when put to use was evident in the life of Carnegie. In spite of having only a third-grade education, Carnegie became one of the most wondrous men the world has ever seen. By the GNP of the United States economy of that time, Carnegie was opined to be 100 times richer than Bill Gates who is a frontier rich man of our time. Obviously, the success formula has made the life of two of its containers in the persons of Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie, to be an absolute inspiration to us all.

Hill is often quoted in his books with the principle, “Whatever price you ask of life, life is willing to pay”.

When working on the book, ‘Think and Grow Rich”, Hill and Carnegie talked lengthily about Thomas Edison. It was stated in the book that Edison was a strict adherent to the success formula who authenticated this formula as the key to riches and achievements of all kinds.

This single formula has found various expressions and description in literature and history. Two of such expressions that are derived from the success formula is, ” Give and ye shall receive “, and, ” It is better to give than to receive”.


The phrase “Master Mind” was borne from Hill’s idea and it has since then, been a phrase that people accord due cognizance and attention (more commonly, Mastermind) One can conceive the ‘Master Mind’ as concept that expresses a continuous application of the harmony of both knowledge and efforts, between two or more people, for the accomplishments of a definite goal. The book, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ comprise Hill’s explanation of how he created the “Mastermind groups”. As Hill is understood, the Mastermind group has the capacity to flourish the intellect of a person and continually inspire greatness and virtue out of that person.