About Earl Nightingale
`The Strangest Secret` and, `We become what we think about`, are two phrases that have memorialized, one of the greatest thinkers, and inspirational men of our time - - Earl Nightingale.
Earl, was born in Los Angeles, California in 1921. By 1933, his father had left him, his mother and two brothers. It was the bottom of the Great Depression and millions were unemployed. Earl`s mother worked at the WPA in a sewing factory to provide for her three boys. They lived in Tent City, behind the old Mariner Apartments on the waterfront in Long Beach, California, and while being poor didn`t seem to bother most of the other kids, it bothered Earl, and he wanted to know why they were so poor, while others, he observed, appeared to be so rich. Why some people were so miserable, while others, so happy. Simply, what made people turn out the way they do.
At that time, no one, that Earl asked seemed to have an answer to his questions. Not his mom or any of the other adults in his neighborhood. But, certain that someone, somewhere, had the answer, and had written it down, Earl marched himself off to the library and began a literary search that would stretch over the next twenty years - a search that would lead Earl to study the world`s great religions, philosophy and psychology.
When Earl was seventeen, eager to escape his surroundings, and explore new and exciting places, he joined the Marines. He was sent to Hawaii, and stationed aboard the USS Arizona. He was in his station, the morning of the attack on Pearl Harbor and was one of twelve surviving Marines on board that day.
Before being mustered out of the war, Earl was returned to the states and was an instructor at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. While there he noticed a new radio station under construction, and applied for a job. He was hired by WJNC, and began his radio career.
After the war, Earl went to work for KTAR in Phoenix. Radio was in it`s ?hay day?, and with Earl`s talent, it wasn`t long before he moved to where the heart of the action was - - Chicago, Illinois. Offered jobs at both NBC, and CBS, he went to work for CBS, where he quickly became a legendary icon to kids across the nation, as the voice radio hero, Sky King . When he wasn`t flying through the sky in his airplane, The Songbird, or riding off on his horse to round up the bad guys, Earl was busy writing and broadcasting his daily radio, and later, television show, from the broadcast stations in the Windy City.
Later, expanding his horizon, Earl bought a small Franklin Life Insurance agency, where each Saturday morning, he would give little pep talks to the salesmen, hoping to inspire and motivate them to be the best salesmen they could be.
One day, Earl told his office manager that he planned to take a fishing vacation and would be away for a few weeks. Because the salesmen relied so heavily on their weekly pep talks from Earl, the manager expressed concern that sales would drop during Earl`s absence. Earl came up with the idea to record something that could be played while he was gone.
Earl thought about what he might write, and turned the question over and over again in his mind. Then, one night, a short time later, he woke up and knew exactly what he wanted to say. He got up, went to his typewriter and wrote a short message. The next morning, he recorded the message and pressed it on a record. The message contained the most valuable information Earl had ever learned - a conclusion of truth that he had searched for and found in every book he`d ever read since he was a child of nine. Of course, he hadn`t recognized this . . . truth, during those long years of self-education, because he had been looking for something else - - the answer to the question he had asked his mother when he was little, why they were so poor, and what made people turn out the way they do.
His enlightenment had come when he was twenty-nine, while working at CBS. He happened to be reading, Think and Grow Rich, when he read the words, ?we become what we think about?. Suddenly, like a bolt out of the blue, he realized that he had been reading the same truth over and over again, from the New Testament, in the sayings of Buddha, in the writings of Lao Tse, to the works of Emerson. ?We become what we think about.? ?As ye sow, so shall ye reap.?
Of course. We can`t become anything but what we think!
So, it was from this enlightenment that Earl wrote his, The Strangest Secret message. He said he called it that, because of the irony of it all - that this truth of why we become, whatever it is we become, is no ?secret? at all, and therefore, it`s ?strange? that we don`t all know about it!
Earl gave the recording to his manager and left on his fishing trip. When he returned, he was amazed at the reaction to the message. Everyone who had heard the record, wanted one for themselves. Earl pressed more records for the salesmen. The salesmen played it, not only for themselves, but for their families; and friends, and when the others heard it, wanted one, too.
Over the next thirteen years, the demand for The Strangest Secret would grow so large that Earl accepted an offer of help to fulfill orders from an acquaintance, Lloyd Conant, who had a small mail order company. Together, they formed the Nightingale-Conant Corporation of Chicago and became the founding pioneers and world leaders in the personal development industry.
The Strangest Secret , went on to receive a Gold Record. The only recording of it`s kind to ever go Gold.
Meanwhile, Earl Nightingale`s success as a radio and later, television personality continued to grow, as did the demand for him as a speaker. Earl`s radio program, Our Changing World, became the most highly syndicated radio program ever, and was heard across the US, Canada
, Mexico, Australia
, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, the Bahamas, 23 countries overseas, as well as the Armed Forces Network.
In 1985, Earl was inducted into The Assiciation of National Broadcasters, Radio Hall of Fame.
During his lifetime, Earl Nightingale wrote and recorded over 7,000 radio programs, 250 audio programs as well as television programs and videos.
In the mid-eighties, Earl wrote his first book, Earl Nightingale`s Greatest Discovery for which he received the Napoleon Hill Gold Medal for Literary Excellency.
Just prior to his passing in 1989, Earl, created a new format for a book that included his text, his illustations, and incorporated space for a private journal. He called it The Winner`s Notebook .
After his retirement and before his death, Earl and his wife, Diana formed Keys Publishing, to take his and her work to future generations. At the time of his death, in 1989, Earl Nightingale`s multitude of recorded messages were played around the world, inspiring people from all cultures, nationalities and races, to live their lives to their fullest.
After Earl`s passing, Diana kept her promise to her late husband to continue his work, and brought back the original Strangest Secret, as well as other works that were created more than 50 years ago, continuing the Nightingale legacy, which Earl gave to her.
Today, Earl Nightingale is remembered as the greatest philosopher of his time, and his best selling programs and books continue to sell daily, and inspire new generations around the world, to reach their highest potential.