Everipedia Logo
Everipedia is now IQ.wiki - Join the IQ Brainlist and our Discord for early access to editing on the new platform and to participate in the beta testing.
Earl Nightingale

Earl Nightingale

Earl Nightingale (March 12, 1921 – March 25, 1989) was an American radio speaker and author, dealing mostly with the subjects of human character development, motivation, and meaningful existence.[1] He was the voice during the early 1950s of Sky King, the hero of a radio adventure series, and was a WGN radio program host from 1950 to 1956.[2] Nightingale was the author of The Strangest Secret, which economist Terry Savage has termed "…one of the great motivational books of all time." [3]

Earl Nightingale
Born(1921-03-12)March 12, 1921
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedMarch 25, 1989(1989-03-25)(aged 68)
Occupationradio speaker and author
Notable work


Nightingale was born in Long Beach during 1921. His father, Earl the 4th, abandoned his mother during 1933. After his father left, his mother relocated the family to a tent in nearby Tent City.

Diana Nightingale is the widow of Earl Nightingale.[4] She has continued working with Earl's commercial themes.[5]

Military career

When Nightingale was seventeen years old he joined the United States Marine Corps. He was an instructor at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and was on the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor and was one of fifteen surviving Marines aboard that day.[6] Other than Pearl Harbor, it is unknown if Nightingale experienced combat.


After the war, Nightingale began work in the radio industry, which eventually resulted in work as a motivational speaker. During the autumn of 1949, Nightingale was inspired while reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.[7] Quoting from the Earl Nightingale official website: "When he was 29, Earl's enlightenment had come to him as a bolt out of the blue while reading, Think and Grow Rich. It came when he realized that the six words he read were the answer to the question he had been looking for! That, 'we become what we think about'. He realized that he had been reading the same truth over and over again, from the New Testament...to the works of Emerson. 'We become what we think about.' 'As ye sow, so shall ye reap...'"[8]

During 1956, he produced a spoken word record, The Strangest Secret, which sold more than a million copies, making it the first spoken-word recording to achieve Gold Record status.[9][10] During 1960, a condensed audio version of Think and Grow Rich was narrated by Nightingale. It was titled, Think and Grow Rich: The Essence Of The Immortal Book By Napoleon Hill, Narrated by Earl Nightingale, and produced by Success Motivation Institute. Also in 1960, he co-founded the Nightingale-Conant corporation with Lloyd Conant. In 1987, Nightingale-Conant published another very successful audio book: Lead The Field. During 1987, Nightingale published his first book, Earl Nightingale’s Greatest Discovery.

Nightingale’s radio program, Our Changing World, became the most syndicated radio program ever, and was broadcast across the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, South Africa, the Bahamas, and 23 additional overseas countries, as well as the Armed Forces Network.

After his retirement, Nightingale and his wife, Diana, formed the company Keys Publishing.

Just prior to his death during 1989, Nightingale created a new format for a book named The Winner’s Notebook. It included his text, his illustrations, and incorporated space for a private journal.

Nightingale died on March 25, 1989, in Scottsdale, Arizona, of complications after heart surgery.[11]


Nightingale won a gold record for the LP record album The Strangest Secret.

In 1976, he won the Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International.[12] He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.[13]

In 1985, Nightingale was inducted into The National Association of Broadcasters National Radio Hall of Fame.[14]

During the mid-1980s, Nightingale received the Napoleon Hill Gold Medal for Literary Excellency for his first book, Earl Nightingale’s Greatest Discovery.


During his lifetime, Nightingale wrote and recorded more than 7,000 radio programs, 250 audio programs as well as television programs and videos.[15]

The Belgian popular music band Felix Pallas used some quotations of The Strangest Secret in their song "Song for Melody", which was part of their first EP 2S4T.[16]

See also


Citation Linkweb.archive.orgThe Nassau Guardian - Meteorological Myths – Editorial Colume – 30 June – 2003. [1] Archived 2010-03-22 at the Wayback Machine
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkpqasb.pqarchiver.comChicago Tribune – CHICAGOLAND - Kenan Heise - Mar 29, 1989
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.suntimes.comChicago Sun Times - THE SAVAGE TRUTH | Economic fears are a big part of country's problems – Terry Savage – March 9, 2009. [2]
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.success.com"Earl Nightingale's Greatest Discovery". Success Magazine. March 30, 2009. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.happyrecovery.comDaniel. "Drug and Alcohol Rehab: Diana Nightingale Conversation". Happy Recovery. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.lankanewspapers.comLanka Newspaper – We Became What We Think About – Monday, 2 April 2007
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgThink and Grow Rich, The Essence of the Immortal Book by Napoleon Hill, Narrated by Earl Nightingale, Success Motivation Institute, 1960
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.earlnightingale.comEarl Nightingale Website/About
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.markvictorhansen.com"Mark Victor Hansen: Listen to Earle Nightingale and The Strangest Secret". Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2011-07-04. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.pr.comPR - Bob Proctor from The Secret shares His Insights on Learning, Creating Prosperity & The Law of Attraction - Allison Kugel - April 02, 2007 [3]
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkpqasb.pqarchiver.comChicago Tribune - NORTH SPORTS FINAL, C Edition - Kenan Heise. - Mar 29, 1989 - [4]
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.toastmasters.orghttp://www.toastmasters.org/Members/Convention/2010Events/GoldenGavelRecipients.aspx
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.mynsa.org"CPAE List". CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame. National Spekers Association.
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linknl.newsbank.comLexington Herald Leader-"RADIO'S NIGHTINGALE TO LECTURE" - D1 LIFESTYLE = April 24, 1986 [5]
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkbooks.google.comSecrets Of A Superstar Speaker - Lilly Walters - McGraw-Hill - ISBN 0-07-134707-0 / 9780071347075 - [6]
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkopen.spotify.comSong For Melody - 2S4T by Felix Pallas
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkearlnightingale.comEarl Nightingale official website
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linknightingalelegacy.comNightingale Legacy website
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkwww.thenassauguardian.com[1]
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM
Citation Linkweb.archive.orgArchived
Sep 18, 2019, 8:23 PM