Sir Knight Norman Vincent Peale
A Powerful Positive Thinker

by Sir Knight Dr. Ivan Tribe

    These were the characteristics that defined Reverend Peale, striving for self-improvement, maintaining a positive outlook with a realization that man is fallible while holding to conservative social values, and urging mankind to do their best. He held to it until his death on December 24, 1993. Ruth Peale carried on with much of his work-including Guideposts-until her own passing in 2008. Brother Peale's ultimate achievement was explained by J. Harold Ellens, editor of the Journal of Psychology and Christianity. Ellens said: "Norman Peale saw psychology and Christian experience as very compatible . . . he had the courage to stand pat on this position in spite of the opposition of the entire Christian church for nearly half a century. His genius was that he... translated psycho-theology into the language of the people."


    Biographies of Rev. Peale are: Arthur Gordon, Norman Vincent Peale: Minister to Millions (1958) and Carol V. R. George, God's Salesman: Norman Vincent Peale and the Power of Positive Thinking (1993). His autobiography is the True Joy of Positive Living (1984). Shorter sketches can be found in American National Biography Online (; Ohioana Authors ( and Current Biography 1946 and 1974. For his Masonic records, I am indebted to Thomas Savini of the Livingston Library, William Holland of the Scottish Rite Museum, and David W. Taber, Recorder of Palmyra Council No. 26 and Sagoyewatha Commandery No. 17, both in New York.

    Sir Knight Tribe is a professor emeritus of history at the university of Rio Grand in Ohio, and a holder of the KCT, KYCH, and 33o. He has been a regular contributor to the Knight Templar magazine for many years and resides at 111 E. High Street, McArthur, OH 45651

Published 080514 Updated: August 12, 2014