Og Mandino is one of my heroes. His life was very interesting. He went from being homeless and almost committing suicide to being the Editor of Success magazine and the author of books that sold millions of copies.
I worked for a company in Toronto that promoted monthly seminars. Og Mandino was one of those speakers. While we were promoting his seminar, he died, and I never got to see him speak live.
Og was once the editor of a high school paper and planned to attend the University of Missouri's journalism school, but in the summer of 1940, before he was able to enter college, his mother died suddenly from a massive heart attack. This happened while Og’s mother was in the kitchen preparing his lunch. After the incident, Og decided to work in a paper factory until 1942. Afterwards, Og joined the United States Army Air Corps where he became a military officer and a bombardier. He flew for thirty bombing missions over Germany on board a B-24 Liberator during World War II. It was also during this time that Og flew with fellow pilot and movie star, James Stewart. Og kept a personalized 8 X 10 photograph of Stewart. This photograph hung on the wall of his home office where he wrote his books.
After his military duties, Og discovered that few companies were hiring former bomber pilots. As a result, he became an insurance salesman. Traveling on the road and sitting in bars at night, Og became an alcoholic. He was unable to keep a job. As a result, his first wife and child left him. One wintry November morning in Cleveland, Og almost took his life. Instead he went to the local library. He sorted through several books in a library. Volumes of self-help, success, and motivation books captured Og’s attention. He selected some titles, went to a table and began reading.
Og Mandino followed his visit to the library with more visits to many other libraries around the United States. He read hundreds of books that dealt with success, a pastime that helped him alleviate his alcoholism. It was in a library in Concord, New Hampshire, where he found W. Clement Stone's classic, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a book that changed Og for the better. Og eventually became a successful writer and speaker. His works were inspired by Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, and Emmet Fox. He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.
Og’s Favorite Books
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, by Benjamin Franklin
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, by W. Clement Stone and Napoleon Hill
The Power of Faith, by Louis Binstock
Your Greatest Power, by J. Martin Kohe
I Dare You, by William Danforth
Acres of Diamonds, by Russell H. Conwell
The Ability to Love, by Dr. Allan Fromme
How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success In Selling, by Frank Bettger
The Magic Power of Emotional Appeal, by Roy Garn
As a Man Thinketh, by James E. Allen
The Holy Bible
Some of the books Og Mandino wrote:
The Greatest Salesman In The World
The Greatest Secret In The World
The Christ Commission
Secrets For Success and Happines