“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.”

James Michener (February 3, 1907 – October 16, 1997) American Author

Posted on
February 7, 2023
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James Michener (pro MIKE- en-er) was the classic "rags-to-riches" story. He was born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania and was completely abandoned by both of his natural parents. Mabel Michener, a poor widow, took him in and raised him as a Quaker. She made a subsistence living doing laundry and sewing services for the locals. However, despite an extremely modest and less than ideal start in life, a sliver of insight into Michener’s future emerged when his boyhood friend Lester Trauch noted that "he was the poorest boy in school, but also the brightest boy.”

Michener enlisted in the US Navy when WWII broke out. It was a pivotal moment for him when he ended up in the South Pacific in1944.  That experience gave him the idea to write his first book, Tales of the South Pacific in 1947.  It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1948 and by 1949, the book was adapted by Rogers and Hammerstein into a popular musical. Michener went on to write more than 40 books which sold, in total, more than 75 million copies world-wide. And far from his inauspicious beginnings, he gave away more than $100M to charity during his lifetime.

Michener received numerous awards for his works. As well, if you are ever in the area, you can visit the James A. Michener Art Museum, established in 1988, in his hometown of Doylestown, Pennsylvania.    

Born exactly116 years ago this month, James Michener was the epitome of a life well lived.  And one would suspect that his belief in the quote above had a lot to do with his success and accomplishments on all fronts – including getting married three times before he finally got it right!  His last wife, Mari Yoriko Sabusawa (an American citizen born in Colorado in 1920), who he was married to for almost forty years, was interned, along with her Japanese parents, at the Granada War Relocation Centre in Colorado following the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Perform Better!

Posted on
February 7, 2023
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