Dale Harbison Carnegie (/ˈkɑːrnɪɡi/; spelled Carnagey until c. 1922; November 24, 1888 – November 1, 1955) was an American writer and lecturer and the developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. Born into poverty on a farm in Missouri, he was the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), a bestseller that remains popular today. He also wrote How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948), Lincoln the Unknown (1932), and several other books.
One of the core ideas in his books is that it is possible to change other people’s behavior by changing one’s behavior toward them.
Published in 1936, How to Win Friends and Influence People is still a popular book in business and business communication skills. Dale Carnegie’s four part book contains advice on how to create success in business and personal lives. How to Win Friends and Influence People is a tool used in Dale Carnegie Training and includes the following parts:
Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
Part Two: Six Ways to Make People Like You
Part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
Part Four: Be a Leader – How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment
Warren Buffett took the Dale Carnegie course “How to Win Friends and Influence People” when he was 20 years old, and to this day has the diploma in his office.
Charles Manson used what he learned from the book in prison to manipulate women into killing on his behalf.
The title of Lenny Bruce’s autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People is a parody of the title of this book.
English rock band Terrorvision titled their second album How to Make Friends and Influence People in reference to the book.
In August 2015, the book was featured on Showtime’s Masters of Sex, with portions recited in a voiceover as a main character studies the text.
The title of Toby Young’s memoir How to Lose Friends & Alienate People is a parody of the title of this book. The memoir was also adapted into a 2008 film of the same name starring Simon Pegg.
An episode from season 7 of Cheers is called “How to Win Friends and Electrocute People” as a play on the title of the book.
Season 7 episode 9 of Supernatural is titled “How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters”, in reference to the title of the book.
Season 2 episode 3 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is titled “Making Friends and Influencing People”, in reference to this book. It aired October 7th, 2014.
The book is referenced in the 2016 film Imperium, in which an undercover FBI agent uses principles from the book to infiltrate an extremist group.
The book is said to have greatly influenced the life of television and film actress Donna Reed. It was given to her by her high school chemistry teacher Edward Tompkins to read as a sophomore at Denison (Iowa) High School in 1936. Upon reading it she won the lead in the school play, was voted Campus Queen and was in the top 10 of the 1938 graduating class.