Dale Carnegie

(1888-1955), American

Dale Carnegie is known as the leader of the art of making friends. He is a pioneer in the development of personal business skills, self-confidence and motivational techniques. His books, most especially How to Win Friends and Influence People have sold tens of millions around the world and, even in today’s dynamic world, they remain as popular as ever. Dale was an acclaimed writer and lecturer of American heritage. Furthermore, he was the developer of self-improvement courses, corporate training, salesmanship, public speaking, and broader interpersonal skills.

Life Facts

  • He was born Dale Breckenridge Carnagey was born in 1888, in Maryville, Missouri, U.S.
  • Carnegie was born to poor farmers on a farm in Missouri.
  • Carnegie attended rural one-room schools in his town.
  • When he was young, Dale Carnegie attended public speaking events and he was inspired to speak in public and so he joined his school’s debate team.
  • Carnegie attended State Teacher’s College in Warrensburg. He graduated in 1908.
  • Dale Carnegie is a native of the United States Of America.
  • His occupations are Motivational Speaker, Psychologist, Biographer, Writer, Teacher.

Interesting Facts

  • The first job of Dale Carnegie after his college education was the sale of correspondence courses to ranchers.
  • Dale Carnegie quit his sales job in 1911 to focus on his dream of becoming a Chautauqua lecturer. Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the US that was very famous in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Carnegie later attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, but couldn’t make it as an actor.
  • Dale Carnegie persuaded the YMCA manager where he was living, to allow him to instruct a class in return for a percentage of the net proceeds. From this class, the Dale Carnegie Course evolved.
  • Dale Carnegie served in the U.S. Army, spending time at Camp Upton during the first world war. He had filed for conscientious objector status with the loss of a forefinger.
  • Dale changed the spelling of his last name at a time when the steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, to whom he was not related, was a widely recognized, much-revered name. He changed it from Carnagay to Carnegie.

Famous books by Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie wrote many books in his lifetime. Some of his notes he published as pamphlets. His family later expanded some of the pamphlets and notes and turned them into books. While others remained published as pamphlets.

How To Win Friends And Influence People: This is his most famous book and the first he wrote in 1936. He talks about how we can get success in business and life by becoming more interested in our fellow human beings. He listed 30 principles divided into 4 major parts on things we have to follow in order for us to win friends and influence their opinions in our favor.

How To Stop Worrying And Start Living: This is another wonderful book that Dale Carnegie wrote and published in 1948. In this book, Dale lets us know how pointless worrying is. He tells us that most of the things we worry about won’t happen so we shouldn’t waste our time worrying.

Lincoln the Unknown: This is a book about US President Abraham Lincoln. In this book, Dale tells the story of Lincoln, how he came from poverty and obscurity to becoming the president of the most powerful nation on earth. He talks about how Lincoln achieved all his success in spite of all the odds against him.

The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking: This is another book by Dale Carnegie where he gives us detailed instruction on how to be an effective and successful public speaker. If you want to be talented in public speaking you should read this book. Carnegie poured his knowledge of public speaking into this book.

The Leader in You: Another great book from Dale Carnegie is the Leader in You. In this book, the author gives us 16 principles and techniques that we can use to become great leaders. It was published in 1993.

Early Life

Dale Carnegie was born as Dale Breckenridge Carnagey in Maryville, Missouri on November 24th, 1888. He was born into a poverty-stricken family on a farm in Missouri, but he continued to have aspirations for leaving his hometown and getting a better life. He eventually left Missouri and went to Nebraska and afterward to New York. Raised on a farm, but with a penchant for theatre and public speaking and a severe chip on his shoulder, Carnegie worked variously as a farmhand, salesman, writer, and actor. In his early years, he struggled greatly, experiencing failure and frustration many times and at a point even considering suicide. But later he found success through his books and courses.

Literary Career

 After graduating from college in 1908, Carnegie took a job as a traveling salesman for the International Correspondence Schools, based out of Alliance, Nebraska, USA. After this, he got another sales job for Amour and Company, a meatpacking business. By 1911, he decided that he’s had enough of the sales job and quit. Carnegie had saved up $500 which was enough for him to move to New York City and try out a career as an actor.
Pursuing his acting dream, Dale studied for a little while at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and afterward got the leading role of Dr. Hartley in a traveling production of Polly of the Circus. But, he did not like the experience and so decided quickly that life in the theater was not for him.
After this time, Carnegie went to enlist in the United States Army during the first world war and served for a little over a year at Camp Upton on Long Island. His draft card noted he had filed for Conscientious objector status and had a loss of a forefinger. After his discharge from the military, Carnegie was hired as the business manager of a traveling lecture course taught by Lowell Thomas, the writer, and broadcaster best known for his coverage of Lawrence of Arabia.


His big break came in 1912 during a period of time that was still writing when he approached the YMCA schools in New York with a proposal to teach the art of public speaking to businessmen. He used the lessons he got from his time in public speaking, sales as well as in the theatre, and designed a course to teach people self-confidence and the art of persuasion. He was an instant hit.

Literature by Dale Carnegie

Explore literature by Dale Carnegie below, created by the team at Book Analysis.