Seek Fame by Associating with the Famous?

Dale Carnegie (1888–1955,) the author of the perennial self-help best seller How to Win Friends and Influence People, wasn’t related to the Scottish-American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919.)

However, Dale Carnegie changed the spelling of his last name from “Carnagey” at a time when Andrew Carnegie was a widely recognized name.

Dale Carnegie was born Dale Carnagay on a Missouri farm. After trying his luck as a salesman and as a failed actor, Carnagay moved to New York and began teaching public speaking at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA.) His courses got popular and, in time, Carnagay opened his own office in the Carnegie House, adjacent to the famous Carnegie Hall, which is named after Andrew Carnegie, who funded its construction.

Shrewd marketing indeed!

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