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Hill's Golden Rule magazine

Hill's Golden Rule magazine

Napoleon Hill started Hill’s Golden Rule magazine, but its primary purpose seemed to be less about inspiring businessmen and more about helping companies swindle investors.

The Federal Trade Commission charged Hill on October 1919 with using his magazine for fraudulent advertising. The charges state, “numerous false and misleading statements, known by the respondents to be false and misleading, and published by them for the purpose of furthering their plans and purposes.”

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683 reads

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Fame by association

Napoleon 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.

His award-giving tactic would later let him gain access to some of the famous people he so dearly wanted to m...

109

674 reads

Hill and Carnegie

Hill and Carnegie

Napoleon Hill’s most infamous claim was that he met and interviewed at length the industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1908.

Andrew Carnegie's biographer David Nasaw found no evidence of any sort that Carnegie and Hill ever met.

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1.38K reads

Hill and Thomas Edison

Hill and Thomas Edison

The 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. 

The real story behind th...

109

702 reads

George Washington Institute

George Washington Institute

In September of 1915, Napoleon Hill started his unaccredited George Washington Institute, to teach the “principles of success” and self-confidence.

Some students of the George Washington Institute would accuse Hill’s school of fraud, and it too had a very short life.

101

876 reads

Intra-Wall Correspondence School

The charity would provide educational materials for prisoners in Ohio so that they could lead productive lives once they left prison. 

Roughly $1,000 were also collected by Napoleon Hill through various sources, to be devoted to giving men in prison a chance, but t...

98

563 reads

Napoleon Hill...

Napoleon Hill...

... is the most famous con man you’ve probably never heard of. 

Born into poverty in rural Virginia at the end of the 19th century, Hill went on to write one of the most successful self-help books of the 20th century: Think and Grow Rich.

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1.11K reads

Hill was a charlatan

Hill was a charlatan

Napoleon Hill was said to be an advisor to two presidents: Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
In fact, there’s no evidence whatsoever outside of Hill’s own writings that Hill met President Wilson or President Roosevelt, let alone acted as a trusted advisor to both.

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1.34K reads

Serial swindler

Napoleon Hill tried his hand at a number of businesses. But at every turn, there was some kind of shady dealing that would cause his business ventures to crumble.

Promoters of Hill claim that it was all a matter of bad luck, and Hill's naivety. However, there are only so many times t...

100

823 reads

The college masquerade

The college masquerade

Napoleon Hill starts the Automobile College of Washington as president in 1909. He promised 6 weeks of training to be sufficient to become an expert in assembling cars.

Hill’s college was actually a way to get free labor for building cars. 

107

974 reads

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