According to his Facebook page, Zig Ziglar, the famed motivational speaker, corporate trainer and author, is dead at age 86.
He has died of pneumonia in Texas.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. For 40 Years, Ziglar Was one of the Biggest Names in Motivational Speaking
Ziglar became known all across the U.S. with the publishing of his first book, See You at the Top, published in 1975. He went on to write 30 books, all of which were translated into 12 different languages.
Ziglar, a natural salesman, got his start speaking to co-workers at the cookware business he sold for in the 1950s. His boss, P.C. Merrell, who became his mentor, encouraged him to turn professional with his speaking. His daughter, Julie, said of her father:
There were no motivational speakers were around at the time for him to mold his style after, so he created his own.
He went on to become a household name.
2. His Clients included Some of the Biggest U.S. Corporations
Ziglar throughout his career was at the top of the motivational speaking market, doing gigs for the biggest companies in the U.S. and beyond, including Halliburton, American Airlines and AT&T.
3. His Quotes Were Awesome
Take a look at some of these and thank Zig when you’re on the way to the top of the corporate ladder:
“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”
“If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
4. Celebs Are Paying Tribute to Him on Twitter
Zig Ziglar rest in peace. Your life inspired us. Thank you.
— LL COOL J (@llcoolj) November 28, 2012
I’m truly sorry to hear about the death of Zig Ziglar. He was a treasure. He spoke such truth on goals, motivation & perseverance.
— The Real Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) November 28, 2012
“Every choice you make has an end result.” -Zig Ziglar #BeEpic
— LA Reid (@LA_Reid) November 28, 2012
5. He was Happily Married for 65 Years
Ziglar met his wife, Jean, in 1943. Ziglar, forever a charmer, said of the meeting:
I’d never seen another girl as pretty,”
Jean, perhaps slightly less romantically, said of Zig:
I never got tired of him, and the other guys I did.”
The couple were married in 1946 after Zig was done with his service in World War II. Together they had three girls, Suzan, Cindy and Julie, and a son, Tom.
6. He was a WWII Navy Vet
Ziglar served as a Navy electrician onboard a ship in the South Pacific.
7. He Was a Staunch Southern Baptist
Ziglar became a Christian soon after meeting his wife, and he remained dedicated to his religion all the way up to his death. He was a regular fixture at his local church in Dallas. Occasionally he gave readings from his favorite Bible passages.
8. Ziglar Inc. is a Multi-Million Dollar Business
With Ziglar’s speeches sold on CD, MP3, DVD and Online formats, the Ziglar name will continue in the digital world. His son, Tom, is the CEO and president of the company.
9. He Came from Humble Beginnings
Ziglar’s first job was selling bags of peanuts for 6 cents a pop in Yazoo City, Mississippi. His father had relocated the family there when he recieved a job managing a farm. His father died soon after the move, and his sister died just days later of a brain hemorrhage. Ziglar took on the role of breadwinner, beginning by selling for a cookware company. The rest is history.
10. He was Born in the Same Town as Michael Jackson
Sadly, Ziglar will never be known as the favorite son of his birthplace, Gary, Indiana. That honor surely belongs to Michael Jackson. Still, if you’re going to get beaten to the honor of favorite son of Gary, Indiana, it’s good to get beaten by the King of Pop.