Motivational Maestro Zig Ziglar Dies At 86

Zig Ziglar, whose motivational speeches sought to help people find success in their professional and personal lives, has died at the age of 86. With a folksy manner and a focus on Christianity, he offered motivational advice and performance training long before it became commonplace in the corporate world.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now let's take a moment to remember a man who helped define an industry - motivational speaking. Zig Ziglar, the author and speaker who campaigned for decades against what he called stinking thinking passed away yesterday; he was 86.

Here's NPR's Wendy Kaufman.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Zig Ziglar inspired millions with phrases like, you can get everything in life you want, if you will just will just help enough other people get what they want. He offered different advice to an angry woman who told him she hated her job. He told her to go home and write down all the things she loved about her position.

ZIG ZIGLAR: Get in front of that mirror - and folks, I cannot say this strongly enough, but I'm going to try - the eyes are the window of the soul. Look yourself in the eye and with excitement and enthusiasm, say I love my job because...

KAUFMAN: Ziglar motivated people for roughly four decades. His personal assistant Jay Hellwig recalls thousands of people waiting to talk to his boss after presentations. They sought him out in airports too.

JAY HELLWIG: There would be people that would come over when they recognized him and go (whistling) Zig, Zig, Zig, you spoke in 1985 in Detroit. You said this and it changed my life forever.

KAUFMAN: In additional to speaking, Ziglar wrote more than 30 books, including "See You at the Top" and "Secrets of Closing the Sale." Zig Ziglar was a deeply religious man. The born again Christian often invoked the Bible and made references to his faith in his presentations.

Indeed, when his assistant Jay Hellwig was asked about his emotions following the death of his boss, he said while he was very sad, he believed Ziglar was now having a grand 'ole time in heaven.

Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: