W. Clement Stone is the perfect main character for a “rags-to-riches” story. He started the Combined Insurance Company even though he didn’t have a lot of money. He didn’t let his lack of money stop him from being successful. He was a wealthy philanthropist and a very successful businessman. He was the perfect example of how hard work and a positive attitude can change a man’s life. Stone started out as a newspaper vendor when he was three years old. He was known for his pencil-thin black moustache, his polka-dot bow ties, and his strong belief that motivation is the key to success. Unlike other street vendors, he didn’t sell most of his stuff on street corners. Instead, he focused on restaurants. His friendly and charming ways won over the buyers, and his business grew quickly. He went on to work as a salesperson in an insurance company that his mother had started, and he soon made the business profitable. He started his own business with just $100, and it grew to be worth many millions of dollars. Stone’s whole life was shaped by the Bible and the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. He even wrote a book in which he said that all a person needs to rule the world is a positive mental attitude. He was sure that anyone, no matter how poor they were, to begin with, could become wealthy if they thought positively.
Early years and childhood
W Clement Stone was born to Louis and Anna Gunn Stone on May 4, 1902, in Chicago, Illinois. His father was in the business of making clothes.
Stone went through a hard time emotionally when he was young. His father died when he was only 3, leaving his family poor because of gambling losses.
His mother got a job as a dressmaker, and he started selling newspapers on the South Side of Chicago to help support the family financially. He didn’t start out as a hawker as most people do. Instead, he sold newspapers in restaurants. This new way of doing things paid off for him because restaurant owners and customers liked how polite and charming he was. By the time he was 13, he had his own newspaper stand.
Clement Stone’s Career
Three years later, he moved to Detroit, where his mother had opened an insurance business. The business did well when his mother ran it and he was in charge of sales. He worked hard to sell casualty insurance by going from office to office. Soon enough, he was making $100 a week.
Because his business was doing so well, he dropped out of high school to focus on selling insurance. He got his diploma by taking night classes at Young Men’s Christian Association Central High School and a few classes at Detroit College of Law and North-western University.
By the time he was 20, he had his own agency in Chicago called Combined Insurance Company of America. It sold accident and health insurance, and by 1930, he had 1,000 agents working for him. He started out with just $100 and went on to build an insurance empire worth many billions of dollars.
He wanted to show the world that anyone with enough willpower and determination could be as successful as him or her, but they had to have a positive outlook on life.
He put into action the ideas in “Think and Grow Rich,” the book by Napoleon Hill that had the most impact on him. Ironically, when he was young, he loved to read Horatio Alger’s stories about people who went from being poor to becoming wealthy.
He didn’t just focus on his own success, though. He also tried to change the lives of others who were in a bad place. One of these people was Og Mandino, who was an alcoholic. He changed his life so much that he became the publisher of Success Magazine.
By 1979, the assets of his company were worth more than $1 billion. In 1987, Aon Corporation was made when the company merged with Ryan Insurance Group. In 2008, Aon sold the company for $2.56 billion to ACE Limited.
He worked with Napoleon Hill, who, in his opinion, wrote the most inspiring book, to write “Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude,” which came out in 1960.
Awards & Achievements
He became a member of the Horatio Alger Association of Prominent Americans.
In 1980, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his ideas and his work with charities, such as the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation.
Personal History and Legacies
In 1923, he tied the knot with Jessie Verna Tarson. The couple had three children after that.
He was a very generous person who gave a lot to many different institutions and groups. During his life, he gave more than $275 million to charities, such as civic groups, mental health groups, and Christian groups.
He was a big Republican Party supporter and gave up to $10 million to President Richard Nixon’s 1968 and 1972 election campaigns.
He also helped the Boys Clubs of America and the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. He set up the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation to help people. The foundation also gives out scholarships for college.
He gave $1 million to Rev. Dr. Robert H. Schuller so that the Crystal Cathedral could be built.
He worked for forty years on The Napoleon Hill Foundation, which he helped found. His estate still pays for the foundation.
He gave $100,000 to the University of Illinois at Chicago in honor of his 100th birthday. Also, he gave a lot of the money that was used to start the self-help group grows.
He was a little over 100 when he died on September 3, 2002.
Estimated Net worth
W is one of the wealthiest self-help authors and is on the list of the most popular ones. Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider all say that W. Clement Stone has a net worth of about $1.5 million.
This successful businessman, who started the Combined Insurance Corp., started out as a newspaper vendor.