Here is a wonderful article I found
The idea of the self-made man is inextricably tied up with that of the American dream. It is his image that has lured thousands of immigrants to our shores
What is a self-made man?
Although typically associated with the rags to riches story
Nor is luck the deciding factor. Society loves the story of a man whose success came to him largely by chance
The History of the Self-Made Man
In his rise from being the son of a candle maker to a legend among men
After the heyday of the self-made man
The modern age continued to assault our culture’s belief in the self-made man. Sociologists and public policy experts stressed the effect of poverty and culture in determining an individual’s success
Why this list of self-made men?
While the popularity of the self-made man may have faded in recent times
These stories prove that it doesn’t matter who your parents are
Though a man of this class need not claim to be a hero or to be worshipped as such
,there is a genuine heroism in his struggle and something of sublimity and glory in his triumph. Every instance of such success is an example and help to humanity. It ,better than any mere assertion ,gives us assurance of the latent powers of simple and unaided manhood. It dignifies labor ,honors ,application ,lessens pain and depression ,dispels gloom from the brow of the destitute and weariness from the heart of him about to faint ,and enables man to take hold of the roughest and flintiest hardships incident to he battles of life ,with a lighter heart ,with higher hopes and a larger courage.
This list of great self-made men is not all-inclusive; both the past and the present are studded with far too many remarkable strivers to possibly cover them all. But here we highlight some of the most extraordinary of these stories. While some of these varied men were far more virtuous than others
And now the list:
Does thou love life? Then do not squander time; for that’s the stuff life is made of.
When he was 17
Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game one foot from a winning touchdown.
After leaving the Navy
John D. Rockefeller
I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything
John D. Rockefeller needed neither a trust fund nor the example of a successful father to become the richest man in American history. His dad was a salesman who was rarely at home as young John grew up. Rockefeller was left to forge his own path. As a young man
Rockefeller’s business plan was simple; by obsessively increasing the efficiency of his refineries and pressuring railroad companies for discounted shipping
Knowledge is not a passion from without the mind
,but an active exertion of the inward strength ,vigor and power of the mind ,displaying itself from within.
Growing up as a Jewish kid in the
Allowing only ordinary ability and opportunity
,we may explain success mainly by one word and that word is WORK! WORK!! WORK!!! WORK!!!!
When it comes to rags to riches stories
Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat
,the luckier you get.
Reid was born in the tiny
Yet he overcame this auspicious start
It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work.
Kicked out of school for being easily distracted
The most important aspect of my personality
,as far as determining my success goes ,has been my questioning conventional wisdom ,doubting the experts and questioning authority. While that can be very painful in relationships with your parents and teachers ,it’s enormously useful in life.
Larry Ellison was born in the
Things may come to those who wait
,but only the things left by those who hustle.
Clarence Thomas was born in the poor community of
I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by the sheer passion I brought to my work. I don’t know if you’re born with this kind of passion
,or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it.
Now a big-box retailing behemoth
After the war
Harry S. Truman
In reading the lives of great men
,I found that the first victory they won was over themselves… self-discipline with all of them came first.
Harry S. Truman lived by the motto
He joined the National Guard and served in WWI. His eyesight should have prevented him from joining up
When he ran for reelection in 1948
I’ve never been surprised about what happened to me. I’ve put in hard work to get to this point. It’s like when you become a lawyer - if you’re bustin’ your ass
,you’re not surprised when you get your degree. I came in to win ,you know. This is why I stay up late while other people are sleeping; this is why I don’t go out to the . Hamptons
In addition to producing hit artists like the Notorious B.I.G.
Life is a series of experiences
,each one of which makes us bigger ,even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character ,and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure help us in our marching onward.
Very few men will ever have the chance to completely revolutionize the American way of life; even fewer who do so will come from obscure backgrounds. Henry Ford was born in 1863 on a farm near
Ford began creating and testing self-propelled vehicles
My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives
,then work hard toward that goal ,we never lose - somehow we win out.
Any man who can turn an acting career into a successful run for the presidency certainly earns the title of self-made man. There was no silver spoon in the mouth of Ronald Regan when he came into the world in 1911. Born in
People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity
,no matter how impressive their other talents.
Carnegie represents the epitome of the self-made man. His father was a Scottish hand-loom weaver
He religiously saved his money and reinvested it in the railroad business. He worked his way up to being superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Western Division and then supervised the
Booker T. Washington
I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.
Booker T. Washington was often criticized by fellow African-American advocates like WEB DuBois for his approach to helping his people progress. While DuBois felt that the fight for civil rights should have the top priority
Milton S. Hershey
Milton S. Hershey had to face some bitter failure before he was able to achieve sweet success. Hershey was born on a farm in
During his visit to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition
The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
The man who would one day create the “happiest place on earth
Then Disney set up a studio in
Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy
,everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience ,it takes commitment ,and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure ,because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction ,or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
His story is of course well known by now
Ben and Jerry
Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield were childhood buds who early on bonded over their preference for eating over gym class. After high school
John Sperling was born to a poor sharecropping family and struggled in school. Dyslexic and semiliterate when he graduated from high school
Sperling spent the next couple of decades as a professor
,in a generally accepted sense of the term ,means the opportunity to experience and to realize to the maximum the forces that are within us.
David Sarnoff was born to a poor family in a small Jewish village in what is today
Schwarzenegger Arnold , 1947-
For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist
,to survive ,but to move ahead ,to go up ,to achieve ,to conquer.
Sharing much in common with another famous actor-turned-governor-of –
Years of sweat and toil paid off when