Charles F. Haanel

Charles F. Haanel

Charles F. Haanel (May 22 1866 - November 27 1949) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan his family being of Swedish origin. Little is known of his early years, but he is known to have worked for the National Enameling & Stamping Company in St. Louis for 15 years, before setting out as a businessman and writer. Charles F. Haanel became a prominent businessman in St. Louis and took part in many ventures. He also became a Freemason and a member of various associations

Charles F. Haanel is most known for the his publication of The Master Key System in 1919, which he published as a weekly course in 24 parts. There is a strong rumor that his courses were banned by the Roman Catholic Church around 1933, but there is no direct evidence to support that rumor. Another myth related to The Master Key System, is that Bill Gates read it and decided to end his studies and go into business as a result of that. This myth has not been confirmed by any reliable source.

Little is known about why he decided to change from being a prominent business man in St. Louis and begin writing books about subjects that later became the basis for the modern time self-help philosophy. His writings show that he had links to the New Thought movement and his sister may have been associated with the Christian Science Church. His Freemason ties and possible Rosicrucian links may also have contributed to his interest.

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