He had been selling off the lumber as quickly as he could in Alabama, accepting only cash, and virtually any amount that he was offered. This, of course, raised plenty of suspicions from the buyers, not to mention the lumber sellers in Alabama who were being undercut at obscenely low prices. Hill was telling his business partner, J.
Acree, that he had found new investors in the business, thus the extra mountains of cash that seemed to be pouring in were simply a product of good business connections. But by June, Mr. By the second half of , word quickly spread that Hill was committing fraud, and every businessman in the lumber community was looking for him.
In September of Hill went on the run from his office in Mobile, Alabama. The whereabouts of O. Hill, said to be the president and general manager of the Acree-Hill Lumber Company, is causing considerable anxiety among creditors of the concern in the state and several other lumber section. Hill has not been at his office since September 8. Hill left the city almost a month ago, at which time he gave it out to his stenographer that he was going to visit a few mills, and since that time she has not heard from him.
All we know for certain is that by December Hill had fled to Washington, D. This is when Oliver N. Hill would start introducing himself by his middle name, Napoleon. According to the official legend of Napoleon Hill, was a pivotal year in the best way possible. According to Hill, Carnegie would later introduce him to the most powerful businessmen in the country for interviews about what made them so successful. It would be a year mission, Carnegie supposedly explained to Hill.
In fact, Hill would claim that Carnegie invited him to stay for an entire weekend to learn at the feet of Carnegie and start Napoleon on his journey. But, of course, none of it was true. Between the domestic disputes, divorce, and fraudulent business deals in lumber, Hill spent much of simply trying to evade the authorities. As just one random example from page 97 in my copy:. HILL: Will you tell me, in the simplest words possible, just how one may control this wheel of fortune?
I would like a description of this important success factor which the young man or young woman just beginning a business career may understand. I have already named five of these principles, and I might here suggest that these five, if properly applied, will carry one a long way on the road toward success in any calling.
Imagine for a moment Andrew Carnegie, or any industrialist of the early 20th century, talking like that. Seventeen principles of achievement? Carnegie was not known to be in that business, though his distant cousin Dale would certainly get into it with his book How to Win Friends and Influence People. In reality, was an incredibly tense time for Hill. In December of , he was recently divorced and hiding from a number of people to whom he owed money. Hill took out ads in the newspapers surrounding Washington explaining that with just six weeks of training anybody could become an expert in assembling cars in the burgeoning automobile market.
Hill had set up the Automobile College of Washington with himself as president, R. Blakesley as vice president, and L. Murphy as secretary and treasurer. Napoleon Hill, president of the Automobile College of Washington, has bought out the other members of that corporation and will manage the school himself. Hill states that from the present outlook the season of will far surpass previous ones.
It was in D. Curiously, three men of the Automobile College were married all within a week of each other in June of —and none of them told their friends or business associates that they were doing it. He drove the car around to the home of Miss Horner, who graduated from Central High School last Wednesday and is a niece of former Gov.
Atkinson, of West Virginia. Ten minutes later the machine was whirring along the level highway that leads to Marlboro. The ceremony was performed there quietly, and that same evening the car stole back to Washington, carrying Mr. They will be at home to their friends at the Earlington apartments, Mount Pleasant, in about a week. Hill and Miss Horner met three months ago while the pretty high school girl was still working for her diploma in the class rooms at Central.
But something was amiss. While Hill was honeymooning, his various business partners and suppliers were jumping ship. Hunt had dissolved their business partnership in the Mount Vernon Inn. Warnick, was alleging that Hill had stolen a car a crime for which Hill was arrested and wanted the National Automobile College to be put into receivership. His college would no longer put an emphasis on teaching students to build cars. Sound familiar? Multi-level marketing companies use similar tactics. The baby was born deaf and without ears but despite his handicap, the elder Napoleon was determined to see his son succeed.
Even if this meant denying him the ability to communicate like other children born without the ability to hear. In the years to come, despite intense fighting with both family and schoolteachers, Napoleon would never allow the boy to learn sign language. He was determined to singlehandedly teach his deaf son to speak—and even to hear. Curiously, one of his partners, Ernest M. But whatever their former relationship, the candy company partners quickly pushed Hill out for some unknown transgression.
Hill filed suit against his former partners, and claimed to have won a victory in some Chicago court five years later. Following his brief dabbling in the candy business, Hill clearly believed that the way to riches was in establishing schools. But even in the increasingly litigious culture of the early 21st century, a lawsuit about poor lighting on public transit would probably be considered frivolous.
It seems Hill was trying to make a buck literally any way he could. He was charged with violating the Illinois Blue Sky Law. But it was just Hill, ostensibly offering student loans at 5 percent interest, of course to pay himself. When the warrants were issued on June 4th, Hill promised to turn himself in. Napoleon was occasionally visiting his family in West Virginia during the lead up to his arrest enough to get Florence pregnant with their third child David, born on October 26, but he spent most of his time during this period in Chicago, New York, and allegedly back to Washington D.
Instead of reporting the facts surrounding his administration of a fraudulent college, the official story of Napoleon Hill tells a different tale about his time from on the tail end of World War I. Many years later Hill would claim that he was approached by President Woodrow Wilson for help with the war effort. He just wanted him involved. Nearly broke, Hill turned down a salary from the President of the United States in order to serve his country for free.
That job? Producing propaganda materials for US businesses to encourage Americans who were toiling away making the machines of war. But the story gets even better. When he finished reading he handed the documents to me and left the room. He was gone for about fifteen minutes.
The Untold Story of Napoleon Hill, the Greatest Self-Help Scammer of All Time
When he returned, he handed me a couple of sheets of paper on which he had written his reply to the Germans, which ended with three questions related to the terms of the armistice. President, I would suggest a fourth question. I would ask whether the request for an armistice has been made on behalf of the German people or the German war lords. The volume even includes entire articles. That was armistice day, as everyone knows. Like most other people, I became as drunk with enthusiasm and joy that day as any man ever did on wine.
I was practically penniless, but I was happy to know that the slaughter was over and reason about about to spread its beneficent wings over the earth once more. Hill got mixed up with a man named S. Cox and his wife N. Cox from Houston. The Cox couple owned the General Oil Company and were looking for investors. Even if they had to lie to get them. Hill helped the Cox couple spread news about just how well their company was doing.
The Federal Trade Commission charged Hill on October with using his magazine for fraudulent advertising. Hill started numerous magazines and tabloids over the years, with nearly every article exclusively written by Hill under various pseudonyms. In Houston, Hill helped the Cox couple start a magazine ironically called Truth. Throughout his career, Napoleon Hill preached the gospel of the Golden Rule. But at other times he showed his cards a bit more.
The Golden Rule is a powerful weapon in business, because there is so little competition in its application. It was a weapon. Hill learned early on that an easy and cost-effective way to get your name in the press was to present people with awards for their demonstration of the Golden Rule. In May of he awarded a chiropractor by the name of Dr. Who came in second? Woodrow Wilson. The idea of it all was absurd on its face. But it gained Hill national coverage in newspapers and magazines around the country. But his award-giving tactic would later let him gain access to some of the famous people he so dearly wanted to meet.
Teed to start the Intra-Wall Correspondence School in The charity would provide educational materials for prisoners in Ohio so that they could lead productive lives once they left prison. Hill petitioned for the release of Butler R. Storke, an inmate who was serving two years for check forging—a similar crime for which Hill himself had been arrested and acquitted in One of the most scandalous newspaper articles on Hill comes from late In it, the author lays out all the people trying to track him down for one reason or another—most often for unpaid debts.
Hill was traveling from city to city in the early s on his mission to collect donations for his Intra-Wall Correspondence School. His constant movement around the country was not necessarily out of wanderlust, of course, but rather to stay one step ahead of the law.
But whatever the exact number, it was a lot of money. Thomas, told the local newspaper that they never saw a dime. And neither had the prison chaplain who helped Hill start the Intra-Wall Correspondence school in the first place. Storke, the check forger released to help start the school was sent back to prison. Storke changed his name on various occasions throughout the s, and would spend the next two decades in and out of prison for embezzlement and other sordid business deals.
Napoleon Hill claimed to have learned the secrets of success through interviews with hundreds of incredible celebrities and businessmen. What we do have, however, is this picture:. This photo of Napoleon Hill standing awkwardly with Thomas Edison is the only photo of Hill with any of the famous businessmen let alone Presidents he claimed to have interviewed over the course of his decades-long career in studying the secrets of success. Hill figured on how he could have a picture made with Thomas A.
Edison, so he could give him a medal. Hill, one of the leading magazine writers, wished to attend the Edison Convention of Dealers. He asked Mr. Edison to pose with him, a request he could hardly refuse. Edison left and Napoleon Hill. Edison is the inventor of the talking machine, the electric light, the moving picture and scores of other things that serve mankind.
Edison was born of poor parents and began his career as a news butcher on a train. Hill began as a laborer in the coal mines. Both have risen to fame through their own efforts. During that brief meeting Hill gave Edison his medal. Edison returned the medal without comment.
According to the official biography of Hill, he returns to Chicago at some point in the mids to find that the items he had in storage were in a building that had burned to the ground. Gone were dozens of letters and notes from Woodrow Wilson, including his approval of a Hill proposal that the president used to sell war bonds.
Gone were the autographed pictures of Wilson, [Alexander Graham] Bell, and others. Gone was the series of letters from Manuel L.
Quezon, who corresponded with Hill prior to becoming president of the Philippine Commonwealth. Well, there you have it. They all burned up in a fire. In the mids Hill bounces around Ohio and Indiana, ready to start anew yet again. But the Midwest of the s was a dark and seedy place for a number of reasons. Today, we romanticize the gangster era of Chicago in the s and 30s. But as in Chicago, the big cities and small towns of Ohio and Indiana could be dangerous places in the s. Unlike the movies, very real blood was being spilled over political power struggles, illegal booze, and virulent racism.
And Napoleon Hill would get caught up in the middle of it all as he toured Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, making friends and enemies with journalists, politicians, and the Ku Klux Klan. But the Klan had a surprisingly strong presence in northern states as well, like Oregon, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Donald Mellett was a respected newspaper publisher in Canton, Ohio in He reported on both mob and police corruption in the Canton Daily News and courted controversy through his muckraking.
Mellett came from a family of journalists and struggled for years at tiny newspapers in his home state of Indiana and then Ohio. When he was brought on as editor of the Canton Daily News , the paper initially gained readers through an emphasis on subscription sales over street sales—a long-term, unconventional model for the newspaper industry at the time.
Not a huge city by any means, Canton was simply one of many cities across the US that was experiencing an explosion in organized crime. And it counted amongst its ranks plenty of police officers who were being paid to look the other way—whether it was booze, sex, or sometimes murder. Mellett had been editor of the Canton Daily News merely a year before he was murdered. He was gunned down outside his own garage on July 16, —assassinated by either underworld figures, corrupt police, or most likely a conspiracy involving a mixture of the two.
There was immediate outrage in the journalism community. One of their own had been assassinated, making it a national story for months. Hill later claimed that Mellett also wanted to help Hill publish an eight-volume book on the subject of success and how to achieve it. But that story contradicts itself even in his own biography, because by all accounts he spent the next few months trying to get a lecture tour started in the Midwest. In the August 27, issue of the Courier-Crescent in Orrville, Ohio just 25 miles outside Canton Hill is noted as giving public lectures and touting his association with the slain newspaperman.
Even people who disagreed with Mellett on any number of issues including perhaps most fervently his advocacy of alcohol prohibition , saw his murder as a direct assault on the First Amendment. To get at the source of the criminal operations and the inefficiency in the police department, he found that the civil service commission must be removed. Immediately a conspiracy against Mellett was organized in the police department, which derives its authority from the civil service commission. And he was probably right. He even had the Canton Police Chief, S.
Lengel, ousted by the Democratic mayor before the Republican-controlled city council reinstated him. By October of Hill was still roaming around Ohio and Indiana.
He appears in court in Indianapolis testifying about political corruption in Indiana, but it had nothing to do with Mellett. Efforts were made also to find Harvey Bedford and George Elliott, both of whom formerly were active in the Klan here. Napoleon Hill, a lecturer who was said to have a contract with Bedford and Elliott was in the grand jury room during the afternoon.
Judging from the newspaper records of the time, this appears to be true. But who he was hiding from is still unclear. Had he pissed off the Klan? Mobsters of Ohio who were bootlegging and allegedly selling drugs to children? Was it the police or politicians after him? All of this is still a mystery as far as I can tell.
Sometime in late or early , Hill emerged from hiding, ready to embark on yet another publishing venture. Hill moved to Philadelphia and his alleged plans with Mellett would not go to waste. Hill would see his eight-volume work, now titled Law of Success , published one way or another. Pelton was a true believer in the prosperity self-help movement.
As with any religion or religious philosophy, there are plenty of disagreements about what the proper way to practice might be, but the fundamental idea running through all of New Thought is that ideas and thoughts have very direct and material actions upon the world. Hill was completely broke in Philadelphia and had to appear to his potential publisher as a man of success and grace. So he borrowed money from his brother-in-law, rented an enormous suite in a swanky Philadelphia hotel, and played the role of the successful businessman for Pelton.
And it seemed to work, despite the fact that Law of Success was mangled garbage as far as any literary merits were concerned. Pelton agreed to publish the book anyway and by mid the royalties begin to come in, however small. Napoleon would bank on his supposed association with powerful men time and again.
I am cured of that forever. By early the money indeed started to flow. Always having to previously pretend that he was wealthy, Hill had his first legitimate success that allowed him to flaunt his money. He quickly bought a Rolls-Royce two Rolls-Royces by his own account in a book years later , and an enormous house in the Catskill Mountains of New York sitting on six-hundred acres. Hill bought his gigantic estate, named Shagbark, with a number of investors. By July, Florence and their three boys had moved into the luxurious estate and Napoleon was hard at work getting his elite utopian community off the ground.
It was the first time that all five members of the Hill family were living under the same roof. Napoleon, always the man on the run, was bored with their idyllic home in the middle of nowhere. By autumn of Hill had set up an office in New York City, an inauspicious time for the American economy at large.
The stock market dipped and dove wildly throughout September and October of , culminating in the great Wall Street Crash of October 24, By the following week, the stock market had been decimated. It was the unofficial start of the s and the decade-long Great Depression. At first Napoleon seemed unaffected by the crippling downturn in the economy. Or so he claimed. Napoleon, hard at work on his next book from his office in New York, wrote lovingly to Florence, assuring her that everything would be okay once his next book hit the shelves.
Napoleon and his family were once again broke, and Florence kept their kids fed and clothed through the continued generosity of her family. If I do not I might go to jail. The idea is that every contestant would need the Law of Success textbooks in order to get ideas from them for the contest. The ellipses in that quote are that of the biographers.
If Hill is referring to the idea of starting a contest only as a ruse for selling his book as a textbook, then yes, that would probably have been illegal in some way or another. Hill was always dancing the thin line that separated brilliant marketing technique and outright fraud, often escaping the law because Hill would claim it was always the former and never the latter. Law of Success would never be made into a motion picture, but Hill was very interested in the movie business by In fact, he helped produce the first Mormon feature film ever. The production was not without its hiccups, however, as the state of New York had to step in and halt the financing scheme dreamed up by Napoleon.
Flora B. But the film, Corianton: A Story of Unholy Love, an epic tale from the Book of Mormon, was ultimately produced, despite being a box office flop outside of Utah. Hill spent the early part of the s devising different magazines and constantly seeking investors. It lasted two issues before he moved to Washington, D. All the while Hill was jumping from city to city—Philadelphia, Baltimore, among others—to seek investors in all kinds of dummy corporations and stock-selling schemes.
Once he made Washington his home base he turned the International Success Society into the International Success University, a correspondence course that yet again was little more than a way to extract gobs of money from people around the country. But it was in that Hill would supposedly have yet another brush with political power. Years later, he would claim that he was approached by the Roosevelt administration to help instill confidence in the American economy. Much like his alleged work for the Wilson administration in , Hill supposedly demanded that he not be paid for his contributions to his country.
All he wanted was a dollar per year. By Florence filed for divorce from Napoleon. Divorce was illegal in West Virginia at the time, so she flew to Florida and spent a week there, where she won an uncontested divorce. Napoleon had abandoned his family from practically day one, enjoying only brief visits where he was known by his sons as much for his temper as for anything else.
After his divorce, Hill found himself yet again penniless and lonely. They set up a time to talk at length the following day. We compared notes and spoke very plainly and frankly. Then we were married. Almost immediately Hill and Beeland now Mrs. Hill would begin work on his most famous book, Think and Grow Rich. But it made for a very stressful living arrangement, to say the least. Vera was the primary victim of the ill-tempered Napoleon in their cramped quarters. After a few months of verbal abuse from her father-in-law, Vera moved back to West Virginia and Blair followed.
Despite following his wife to West Virginia Blair and Vera would eventually divorce. Pelton was reportedly reluctant at first, convinced that there was no longer a market for the self-help prosperity books that had helped Napoleon earn his first honest dollar in It was the middle of the Great Depression and many Americans had little money for food, let alone a hardcover book that told them everything was going to be great. But when Pelton finally relented, the book was published and found a hungry audience in They wanted books and movies and radio programs to provide a glimmer of hope; a reminder that things could indeed get better.
And failing that, they could spend a few hours forgetting their own problems and live vicariously through the wealthy people they saw on the silver screen or the successful people chronicled in books who came from nothing. Just like Napoleon Hill. Want to be rich? How does one come to resolution with a life in progress?
This workshop promotes a broader definition of conflict and narrative tension. Using documentary videos for inspiration, students are guided through interactive exercises to find the emotional heart of a story. Nonfiction will be our source material, but the lessons of this workshop apply equally well to fiction writing or filmmaking. He primarily covers college sports. He is a Grapevine native and proud alum of the University of North Texas.
But sports always lend themselves to terrific narratives.
This workshop will discuss ways to find those stories and humanize the players behind the jerseys. Sue is also the mother of two very creative emerging writers, Leo 6 and Charlie 3. Workshop: Poetry in Advertising. This workshop will examine some of the most lyrical current ads and one of the most creative day jobs a writer can pursue — copywriting. In this workshop Ken will share how he learned to be creative within a world that is often stifling for right brained types.
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He will talk about multiple avenues for creative jobs including writing, music, advertising, computer programming and painting. This workshop will be lively and fun with opportunities for class participation. Presenting Periods 1 and 2. Karen Blumenthal. A Dallas native and hopeless Dallas sports fan, Karen Blumenthal is a journalist and author. How do you research notorious outlaws with Dallas roots? Will be presenting at the Highland Park Middle School. In he published Deep Down in the Delta Butler Center Books , a collection of folkloric poems based on fieldwork he conducted.
We will focus on generating and employing images and phrases that capture the imagination and make meaning in a poem. He studied in New York at the School of Visual Arts with a focus in Cartooning after being encouraged to take his hobby and scribbles further than just a means to kill time in class.
When not working in the studio he can be found in used book stores searching for new art books. Workshop: Crash Course in Comics. Adapting pre-made scripts into full comic pages. Presenting Periods 4, 7 and 8. Visit him at seaneasley. This session will take a look at the reality of revisions where most of the writing really gets done by having a peek at my old manuscripts, and see my failing grades in the form of the many rejections my books faced on the road to successful publication. Will be p resenting at Highland Park Middle School.
Illustrated 7 Children Books, Paintings in several galleries. In this interactive workshop, everyone will be given the knowledge and expertise on how to create their very own Graphic Novel. Presenting Periods 1, 2 and 4.
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More information is available at maggabbert. In this workshop, students will transform concepts—such as anger, liberty, and beauty—into poems that feature tangible details. We will determine the texture, the smell, and the shape of these concepts in order to bring them to life on the page. After discussing one or more examples from poems written by contemporary poets, each student will be invited to choose their own concept and to share ideas about the physical qualities they might assign to it.
A handout including outside resource information and several contemporary poems will be provided; students are additionally asked to bring a pen or pencil and scratch paper. Weird and dreamy from birth, Sonia grew up in a small Tennessee town and ran with a dangerous pack of band and drama geeks. As an adult she experimented with a variety of impractical professions—museum interpreter, historic home director, bookseller, and perpetual graduate student—before finally deciding to share her passion for stories through teaching.
Sonia taught literature and writing to young adults for ten years and still thinks fondly of her days in the classroom. She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and cat. A well-crafted monster is essential to any good horror story. Presenting Periods 1, 2 and 3. Paula Goldberg is a storyteller, educator, lover of coffee and salt and someone who is fiercely optimistic that at 52 percent of the population, women can be a political and artistic force.
Constantly reinventing herself — she has worked in corporate america, academia and artistically as an actor, screenwriter, producer and director. Credits include the feature screenplay, The Perfect Family staring Kathleen Turner and Emily Deschanel, directing the 3rd season of the Roland Joffe produced MTV series, Undressed, creating the original web series, Inappropriate Workplace and most impressively, raising an year old son. Guess which has been the toughest gig?! From idea generation to character, dialogue, plot and theme; what every writer needs to know about crafting a screenplay!
He has also collaborated with remix artists such as Nebbra and Epic Empire. His music is regularly featured on In Michael founded RoomFour Guitar Studio which provides students of all ages and abilities the chance to explore guitar, songwriting and production in a positive learning environment. What is it about a song that keeps us coming back to listen time after time after time? What power do words matched to music have that we often choose to wake, eat, work, drive, study, celebrate, mourn and sleep to them?
Workshop: Elevate Your Writing. Our workshop will be hands-on, interactive and help you stretch. Harris began playing professionally at the age of twelve. We analyze hit songs, discuss the power of well-crafted melodies and lyrics, and give tips on finding your inner artist. She loved working as a middle school social studies teacher and has been writing stories since she was in fifth grade. She lives in Plano with her two daughters, three rescue dogs and a nice husband who tolerates piles of books all over their house. Students will bring vivid opening paragraphs to some of their favorite novels.
We will use these paragraphs to explore the various ways writers can begin their stories. But when is the right place in a novel to start the story? Will be presenting at Highland Park Middle School. Workshop: Setting and Story. A good setting functions as a character in the story. It has backstory and emotion. It permeates the lives of the characters and creates conflict.
Presenting Periods 6 and 7. Laura Irrgang is an artist and writer who splits her time between fine art, illustration, and cartooning. Irrgang is also the recipient of the Hunt County Public Art award. She then became an instructor for the University of Texas Informal Course program, teaching painting and art history.
Irrgang works from her studio by the edge of the woods in Lone Oak, Texas. Have you ever wanted to tell stories visually? Get started now! By the end of this workshop, you will complete one page of a graphic novel and be prepared to create many more. Students will go over the basics- plot, characters, point of view, setting, theme, symbolism, and conflict. Learn to handle narration, panels, and dialogue by looking at the history of visual conventions.
This fast-paced, hands-on course will help you start combining stories with art. Drawing skills are not required-just a positive attitude and a willingness to experiment. Presenting Periods 6, 7 and 8. Anne Keefe is editor at the Meadows Museum and award-winning poet. Learn to write with your eyes in this workshop led by the Meadows Museum. Workshop members will be introduced to contemporary ekphrastic poetry poems about visual art and the unique ways that works of art can inspire the verbal.
Presenting Periods 3 and 4. Over the past decade, Matthew has worked with hundreds of writers through classrooms, workshops, and online communities to help them find inspiration, become their own ruthless editor, and establish their esteem and careers as writers. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Yes, It Does! Stephanie writes picture books, poetry, and middle grade fiction and also works as a school library assistant.
She grew up in Wichita Falls and has taught fourth-grade writing, filled in as a church accompanist, and helped start a hospice program for grieving children and teens. She lives in Dallas with her family and pets. So often, we think we do not have anything remarkable to write about, or that nothing has happened to us that is worth telling.
But some of the most powerful writing, both fiction and nonfiction, springs from the commonplace. The shared human emotion underlying everyday life makes our stories memorable and can form connections with readers—we just have to uncover what is there. Come with pencil or pen, prepared to bypass your inner critic and list your way to writing gold. Although he was once a Human of New York, he lives in suburban Dallas with his wife and three kids, who say he is not all that funny, usually.
Learn more at merschel. Workshop: The Art of Revision. Michael Merschel, award-winning author of Revenge of the Star Survivors and a longtime editor at The Dallas Morning News, talks about how art sometimes happens after that first draft — and how you, too, can learn to love the process or at least understand it a little better. Ben Montgomery , a bestselling author of three nonfiction books, is a former enterprise reporter for the Tampa Bay Times, where he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in