Born in the Ohio hamlet of Bowersville on May 31, 1898, Norman Vincent Peale was the son of a physician turned Methodist minister. He grew up to become the author of 46 books, including the inspirational best seller of all time, The Power of Positive Thinking. He was also a motivational speaker on countless platforms; the co-publisher of the world's leading inpirational magazine, Guideposts; and for 52 years, the beloved pastor of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City.
Following his ordination, Dr. Peale gained a reputation as a dynamic pastor whose churches grew. At University Methodist Church in Syracuse, N.Y., he met and married Ruth Stafford, his life partner for 63 years. They were a perfect compliment - he energetic and creative, and she organized and managerial.
At age 34 Dr. Peale accepted a call to Marble Collegiate Church. A common sight in his years as pastor were tourists lined up around the block to hear him. With Marble as his base, Dr. Peale launched far reaching innovations in the decades of the 1930's, 40's, and 50's. In 1933 he began a weekly radio broadcast that continued for a record setting 54 years. The year 1938 saw the founding of the innovative clinic for Christian psychotherapy, the Institutes of Religion and Health. In 1940 the Peale Center was organized to print and distribute his sermons and in 1945, along with business man Raymond Thornberg, Peale founded Guideposts Magazine.
In 1984 Peale was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Regan. Dr. Peale died at his home in Pawling on Christmas Eve 1993.