Elizabeth Peale Allen Reminisces about Norman Vincent Peale on 'Beliefs' Podcast

Elizabeth Peale Allen talked with host Dr. William Baker about what it was like to grow up as the daughter of the father of positive thinking.

- Posted on Feb 21, 2019

Elizabeth Peale Allen

Elizabeth Peale Allen, Chairman of the Board of Guideposts and the youngest daughter of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Ruth Stafford Peale, was a recent guest on the ‘Beliefs’ podcast, hosted by Dr. William Baker, a professor at Fordham University. The podcast is produced in partnership with Religion News Service, a nonprofit source of news on religion and spirituality.  

Baker referred to Dr. Peale as “the first media preacher of any real consequence.” He was the minister of Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan for 52 years and wrote many books, including The Power of Positive Thinking. He co-founded Guideposts with Ruth in 1945, and the company's flagship magazine, Guideposts, continues to inspire millions of people around the world with stories of hope and inspiration. Dr. Peale was a sought after public speaker and voiced a popular radio program "The Art of Living," which was broadcast for more than 50 years. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Allen said what first set her father apart as a minister was his willingness to step outside the pulpit.

“He became popularized because he was interested in reaching as many people as he possibly could,” Allen told Baker.

The busy father of three was not only a powerful speaker, but a prolific writer as well. He is most well known for authoring The Power of Positive Thinking, which has sold more than 20 million copies. He is also the author of You Can If You Think You Can, Enthusiasm Makes the Difference and Power of Positive Living

“He wrote 47 books in the course of his lifetime,” Allen said. “The Power of Positive Thinking was published in 1952. It is not his first book but it is obviously the most well-known.”

Allen revealed that her father originally had a different title for his most famous book.

“His title for the book was The Power of Faith,” Allen said. “His editor…pointed out that he used the phrase the power of positive thinking many times in the manuscript and suggested that as the [title]…thinking that it would have a broader appeal—no pun intended.”

Despite his prowess as a speaker, Allen said her father was a shy person.

“I have often said that he wrote the book as much for himself as for those who later came to read it,” Allen said. “He needed that sense of belief in himself and belief in God.”

You can listen to Allen’s inspiring interview here.

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