Dale Carnegie

John Florens | Sep 18, 2023

Table of Content


Dale Breckenridge Carnegie (Maryville, November 24, 1888 - Forest Hills, November 1, 1955) was an American writer and teacher.

A promoter of numerous courses on personal development, sales, leadership, corporate training, interpersonal relations, and public speaking skills, he was the author of How to Treat Others and Make Friends (in English How to Win Friends and Influence People), published in America in 1936 by Simon & Schuster publishers and in Italy by Bompiani. The work, which has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide and is still popular today, is one of the first best sellers in the history of books on personal development. He wrote numerous other works including a biography of Abraham Lincoln, entitled Lincoln the Unknown, published in 1932 by The Century Co. publishing house.

The second son of James William Carnagey and Amanda Elisabeth Harbison, Dale Carnegie was born in 1888 in Maryville. Despite growing up in a poor rural family, Dale Carnegie managed to attend State Teacher's College in Warrensburg. His first job, taken as soon as he finished school, was as a correspondence course salesman to ranchers. His business career, however, began in the firm Armour & Company on whose behalf he sold bacon, lard and soap. Dale Carnegie proved to be a talented salesman, to the point where his area, South Omaha, Nebraska, became a business leader.

After earning $500, Dale Carnegie left Armour & Company in 1911 to pursue his life's dream of becoming a writer. Instead, he ended up moving to New York City where he attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, but had little luck as an actor, although his biography recounts that he managed to play the role of Dr. Hartley in a series of touring Polly of the Circus shows. When the tour ended, he returned to New York where he lived, now unemployed and broke, at the New York YMCA on 125th Street; it was there that the idea of becoming a public speaker and teacher of public speaking began to germinate in him. He managed to convince the manager of the YMCA to hold his first course at the facility, promising him 80 percent of the proceeds. During this first session Dale Carnegie, having run out of material, improvised by asking his first participants to talk about something that "made them particularly angry," discovering that this technique enabled even the most timid people to speak in front of a large audience without anxiety and fear. Thus it was that in 1912 the first Dale Carnegie Course debuted. With his course, Dale Carnegie had succeeded in fully capturing every American's desire for more self-confidence, and in 1914 he achieved success by earning $500 a week, today's equivalent of $10000.

Probably Dale Carnegie's success was facilitated by the idea of changing his surname "Carnagey" to Carnegie, at a time when Andrew Carnegie (who was not related to him) was a particularly recognized and respected name. Dale was even able to rent the famous Carnegie Hall for some of his lectures. The first collection of Dale Carnegie's writings was entitled Public Speaking: a Practical Course for Business Man (1913), later republished as Public Speaking and Influencing Men in Business (1932), translated into Italian as Come parlare in pubblico e convincere gli altri. The crowning achievement, however, came in 1936 when the publishing house Simon & Schuster published How to Win Friends and Influence People (Come trattare gli altri e farseli amici, Bompiani Italia). The book was a huge success and immediately became a best seller that required as many as 17 reprints in a few months. By 1955, when Dale Carnegie died, the book had been translated into 31 languages, had sold 5 million copies, and 450,000 people had taken a course at the Dale Carnegie Institute.

During World War I Dale Carnegie served in the U.S. Army. His first marriage to Lolita Baucaire ended in divorce in 1931. On November 5, 1944, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he married Dorothy Price Vanderpool, also divorced. He had two daughters, Rosemary, from his first marriage, and Donna Dale, from his second. Dale Carnegie died at his home in Forest Hills, New York, on November 1, 1955. He was buried in Belton Cemetery, Cass Country, Missouri. According to his official biography, written by Dale Carnegie & Associate, Inc, Dale Carnegie died of Hodgkin's lymphoma and renal failure.

Dale Carnegie was deeply convinced that every person is capable of human and professional growth if motivated, prepared and trained to use the skills and talents he or she naturally possesses. Inspired by the famous "principles," over the decades he developed a series of training paths aimed at stimulating each individual to discover resources and talents, unlocking the often hidden potential and developing the strategic areas useful for achieving success and lasting improvements over time: interpersonal relationships, leadership, the art of communication and public speaking.

Here are some principles from How to Treat Others and Make Friends that underlie Dale Carnegie's thinking:

Over the course of his career, Dale Carnegie wrote numerous books that have become landmarks in management literature over time. Among them, the best known is How to Treat Others and Make Friends with Them, published in 1936 by the Simon & Schuster publishing house and translated into Italy by Bompiani. Throughout the narrative, Dale Carnegie elaborates advice that has immediate practical use at work, in the home, in business and in social relationships in general. The author himself, in the original preface, calls the book "a practical handbook of human relationships," written to provide people with the tools to understand other people. In the preparatory phase of the book, Dale Carnegie read numerous bibliographies, including those of Julius Caesar, Thomas Edison, and Theodore Roosevelt, and interviewed famous people such as inventor Guglielmo Marconi, politicians Franklin D. Roosevelt and James Farley, businessman Owen D. Young, actors Clark Gable and Mary Pickford, and explorer Martin Johnson; from all of them he wanted to understand the technique they used in interpersonal relationships.

The book consists of four parts, preceded by the "Nine Tips for Getting the Best Out of This Book," also written by the author:

In 2012, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Dale Carnegie Course, Dale Carnegie & Associates published How to win friends & influence people in the digital age (Come trattare gli altri e farseli amici nell'era digitale, Bompani Italia editions), revisiting the contents of the best seller written in 1936 and adapting them to the current context, in which face-to-face, direct and immediate relationships are replaced by a multiplicity of virtual, "networked" relationships, capable of dematerializing geographical boundaries and personal contacts. Starting with the key messages and principles that the author believed it was essential to follow in order to achieve success, the book takes readers through the actualization of the concepts from a Web-oriented perspective.

Dale Carnegie Training is a multinational company specializing in business training, consulting and education. Each course provided aims to enhance each person's potential by developing the strategic areas useful for achieving lasting results, working on interpersonal relationship skills, leadership, sales, communication and public speaking. The most popular of the various training courses is the Dale Carnegie Course: effective communication and interpersonal relations, with which Dale Carnegie debuted in 1912 as a lecturer at the New York YMCA. Dale Carnegie Training is present in more than 85 countries worldwide, including Italy since 2002.

His first marriage ended in divorce in 1931. On November 5, 1944, he married his former secretary, Dorothy Price Vanderpool (Rosemary, from his first marriage, and Donna Dale from his marriage to Carnegie. Dorothy ran the Carnegie company after Dale's death.

Carnegie died of Hodgkin's disease on November 1, 1955 at his home in Forest Hills, New York. He was buried in Belton Cemetery, Cass County, Missouri.


  1. Dale Carnegie
  2. Dale Carnegie
  3. ^ Dale Carnegi, Lincoln The Unknown, Sanage Publishing House, 2021, ISBN 9789390896264.
  4. ^ Dale Carnegi, How to win friends and influence people, 2009, ISBN 978-1439167342.
  5. ^ Dale Carnegi, Come vincere lo stress e cominciare a vivere, Bompiani, 2014, ISBN 9788858764251.
  6. ^ "Books by Dale Carnegie (Author of How to Win Friends and Influence People)". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  7. The Oxford Desk Dictionary of People and Places, S. 63[1]
  8. James W. Cortada, Rise of the Knowledge Worker, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1998, p. 210.
  9. Paul Bernstein, American Work Values. Their Origin and Development, SUNY Press, 1997, p. 177.
  10. a et b Steven Starker, Oracle at the Supermarket: The American Preoccupation With Self-Help Books, Transaction Publisher, 2002, p. 62-66.
  11. « Although his methods have been disdained by the educated for their naiveté and by moralists for encouraging an empty personal popularity or insincere, manipulative interpersonal relations, they are in fact an excellent treatment for what we have recently been calling “social phobia”, combining interpersonal skill training, attitude change, and graduated exposure to phobic situation. » « Bien que ses méthodes aient été dédaignées par ceux ayant de l'instruction pour leur naïveté et par les moralistes parce qu'elles encouragent une popularité personnelle vide ou des relations interpersonnelles insincères et manipulatrices, elles sont en fait un excellent traitement pour ce que nous appelons depuis récemment la « phobie sociale », en combinant un entraînement de l'aptitude interpersonnelle, un changement d'attitude, et une exposition graduelle à la situation phobique. » Walton T. Roth, « Biological vs. Psychological Perspectives on Anxiety Disorders » in Anke Ehlers (dir), Wolfgang Fiegenbaum (dir), Irmela Florin (dir), Jürgen Margraf (dir), Perspectives and Promises of Clinical Psychology, Springer, 1992, p. 197.

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