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Jack Canfield
Born August 19, 1944(1944-08-19)
Fort Worth, Texas
Nationality US Citizen
Occupation Motivational speaker, author

Jack Canfield (born August 19, 1944)[1] is an American motivational speaker and author.[2][3] He is best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, which currently has nearly 200 titles and 112 million copies in print in over 40 languages.[4][5][6] According to USA Today, Chicken Soup for the Soul and several of the series titles by Canfield and his writing partner, Mark Victor Hansen, were among the top 150 best-selling books of the last 15 years (October 28, 1993 through October 23, 2008).[7]

In July 2004, The Jack Canfield founded the Transformational Leadership Council[8], a group of thought leaders, speakers, authors, coaches, trainers, researchers, consultants, and other leaders in the fields of personal and professional development. The members of TLC meet semi-annually to network, connect, and learn from each other, to enhance members' effectiveness and contribution in the world. As of January 2009, membership numbered 99.



Canfield has worked as a teacher, a workshop facilitator, and a psychotherapist.[6] He is a Democrat and a follower of "the secret" and the Law of Attraction, and his hobbies include tennis, travel, skiing, running, billiards, reading, and guitar.[6] In 1962, he graduated from high school at Linsly Military Institute in Wheeling, West Virginia and he received a BA in Chinese History in 1966 from Harvard University and an MEd at University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1973.[6] In 1971 he married Judith Ohlbaum, with whom he had two children. In 1978 he was named Outstanding Young Man of America by the U.S. Jaycees.[6] On September 9, 1978, he married Georgia Lee Noble, with whom he had a son. They divorced in December 1999. On July 4, 2001, Canfield married for a third time to Inga Marie Mahoney. In the recently released Long Past Stopping Canfield's first son, Oran, details a troubled childhood with a distant father, as well as his skepticism of the entire self-help genre in which his father became famous. [9]


In 1990, Canfield shared with Mark Victor Hansen the idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and after three years, the two had compiled sixty-eight stories.[4] Canfield has appeared on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, 20/20, Eye to Eye, CNN's Talk Back Live, PBS, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Montel Williams Show, Larry King Live, and the BBC.[2]

Canfield is the founder of "Self Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara, and "The Foundation for Self Esteem" in Culver City, California.[6] One of Canfield's most recent books, The Success Principles (2005), shares 64 principles that he claims can make people more successful.[2] In 2008, he wrote The Success Principles for Teens with Kent Healy, as a result of the success of his original book. In 2006, he appeared in the DVD, "The Secret", and shared his insights on the Law of Attraction and tips for achieving success in personal and professional life. In the summer of 2004 Canfield founded The Transformational Leadership Council (TLC), a closed membership, invitation only members' club.[10]


(Other than the Chicken Soup for the Soul series)

  • About Me: A Curriculum for a Developing Self, Encyclopedia Britannica (With Harold C. Wells) (Chicago, IL), 1971.
  • One Hundred Ways to Enhance Self-Concept in the Classroom: A Handbook for Teachers and Parents (With Harold C. Wells), Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1976, revised edition, Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), 1993.
  • Personalized Learning: Confluent Processes in the Classroom, privately printed (Newington, CT), 1976, published as Loving to Learn, Self-Esteem Seminars (Culver City, CA), 1997.
  • Self-Esteem in the Classroom: A Curriculum Guide, Self-Esteem Seminars (With Marie Reese, Ron Rowland, Sandie Limina, and others) (Culver City, CA), 1986.
  • Self-Esteem and Peak Performance: A Transcript, Career-Track (Boulder, CO), 1991.
  • One Hundred and One Ways to Develop Student Self-Esteem and Responsibility in the Classroom (With Frank Siccone) , Allyn & Bacon (Boston, MA), Volume 1: The Teacher as Coach, 1992, Volume 2: The Power to Succeed in School and Beyond, 1992, published in one volume, 1994.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers Team Esteem Program: A Self-Esteem Curriculum Guide, Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), 1992.
  • Dare to Win (With Mark Victor Hansen), Berkley Books (New York, NY), 1994.
  • Follow Your Dreams: A Goals-setting Workbook (With Karen Goldberg), Dream Time Project (Wayne, PA), 1994.
  • The Aladdin Factor: How to Ask for and Get Everything You Want in Life (With Mark Victor Hansen), Berkley Books (New York, NY), 1995.
  • Heart at Work: Stories and Strategies for Building Self-Esteem and Reawakening the Soul at Work (With Jacqueline Miller), McGraw (New York, NY), 1996.
  • A Cup of Chicken Soup for the Soul (With Mark Victor Hansen and Barry Spilchuk), Health Communications (Deerfield Beach, FL), 1996.
  • The Power of Focus, Health Communications (With Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt), (Deerfield Beach, FL), 2000.
  • The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (With Janet Switzer), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

Honors awards[6]

  • Named Outstanding Young Man of America, U.S. Jaycees, 1978
  • honorary Ph.D., University of Santa Monica, 1981
  • For Chicken Soup for the Soul: One Hundred and One Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit:
    • American Booksellers Book of the Year (ABBY) award 1995
    • Storytelling World award for tellable adult stories, 1995
    • Body, Mind, and Soul Book award, 1996
    • American Family Institute Nonfiction Literary award,
  • Named Southern California Book Publicist of the Year, 1995
  • Storytelling World award for tellable adult stories, 1996, for A Second Helping of Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Distinguished Author award, Radio and Television Interview Report, 1996
  • Motivator of the Year award, Business Digest, 1999
  • Chancellor's Medal, University of Massachusetts, 1998
  • Promise of the Earth Award, National Arbor Day Foundation, 1998
  • Oprah's Angel Network Award, 1999.


  1. ^ "Jack Canfield". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale. August 31, 2006. Retrieved on February 13, 2009.
  2. ^ a b c hcibooks, "Jack Canfield", accessed 02-14-2009
  3. ^ [1] Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame, accessed 02-14-2009
  4. ^ a b, "History of Chicken Soup for the Soul", accessed 02-14-2009
  5. ^ Book Business (July 11, 2008), "Simon & Schuster Enters into Sales and Distribution Agreement with Chicken Soup for the Soul", accessed 02-14-2009
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h, Famous Authors Vol 17, Jack Canfield, accessed 02-14-2009
  7. ^ [2] USA Today, "USA TODAY's best-selling books of last 15 years", accessed 02-14-2009
  8. ^
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ "Frequently-asked Questions". The Transformational Leadership Council. Retrieved 2009-02-13. "The only way to become a member is to be nominated by a member. Members may nominate one new member a year."  

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