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Norman Vincent Peale, 1898-1993

Minister, Author

Norman Vincent Peale

What the mind can conceive and believe, and the heart desire, you can achieve.
Norman Vincent Peale

Crouse Entertainment

Norman Vincent Peale was born in Bowersville, Ohio, the oldest of three sons on May 31, 1898. He was raised as a Methodist and ordained as a Methodist minister in 1922 after earning degrees at Ohio Wesleyan University and Boston University School of Theology. Peale changed his religious affiliation to the Reformed Church in America in 1932 and began a 52-year tenure as pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. During that time the church's membership grew from about 600 to over 5,000, and he became one of New York City's most famous preachers.

In 1935, Peale started a radio program, The Art of Living, which lasted for 54 years. He then moved into television. His sermons were mailed monthly to thousands of people. During the depression he teamed with the founder of J.C. Penney & Co., the founder of IBM, and the radio personality Arthur Godfrey to form the first board of 40Plus, an organization that helps unemployed managers and executives.

The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self, think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.
Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

In 1945, Peale, his wife Ruth Stafford Peale and Raymond Thornburg, a Pawling, New York businessman, founded Guideposts magazine, a non-denominational forum for celebrities and ordinary people to relate inspirational stories.

Along with Smiley Blanton, a psychoanalyst, they established an outpatient clinic next door to church. The two men wrote books together, notably Faith Is the Answer: In 1951 this clinic of psychotherapy and religion grew into the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry, with Peale serving as president and Blanton as executive director. Blanton handled difficult psychiatric cases and Peale, who had no mental health credentials, handled religious issues.

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