Robert "Bob" Collier was born April 19, 1885, in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Mary Ferguson and John Collier. His mother died when he and his older brother were not yet teenagers. His father traveled widely as a foreign correspondent for Collier's Magazine, which was founded and published by his uncle, Peter F. Collier.
Robert was educated in a church seminar school and was expected to become a priest, but before taking his vows he decided against the life of a clergyman and headed for West Virginia to seek his fortune. There he worked as a mining engineer, learning first-hand how to deal with both humanity, and the trials of life. He was a prolific reader, and the books in the mining company's office, which included applied business correspondence and books on advertising, gave him the basics of writing that became his career.
After eight years in West Virginia, he went to New York City and worked in the advertising department of the P.F. Collier Publishing Company. With the help and guidance of such experts as Bruce Barton and Fred Stone, he developed ideas in sales copy, persuading the top men to test them in new circulars he wrote.
The results were fantastic. He sold many thousands of the Harvard Classics -- a five-foot shelf of books by Dr. Elliott -- and his circulars on the O. Henry stories brought in orders for over two million dollars. These successes were followed by orders for over 70,000 books on "The History of the World War."
Because of an earlier, seemingly undiagnosable illness which he finally cured through Christian Science, Bob became interested in health products. He felt that a good 98% of our illnesses came from chemically treated, denatured foods. From his own experience came the desire to investigate how the Mind could so quickly and surely cure an illness which doctors had been working on for months; clearly there must be powers in the Mind he'd never suspected. Furthermore, if it had dominion over his physical self, why could it not cure business problems too? Why could it not correct any financial lack? Why could it not bring him anything of good he might wish?
He decided it could -- and proceeded to find the way. For long months, he studied hundreds of books and courses on everything relating to metaphysics, the occult, and success in life. Whole religions seemed to be built on it. He delved into the deepest mysteries of the Masters. It was a long time before he began to find parts that were really workable in everyday life; a long time before he realized tangible results from his efforts; but when results began, they came quickly.
For some time Robert Collier had had the idea for a set of books on practical psychology. He put this idea into action, working night and day writing the books. Within six months of publication of these books he received more than one million dollars-worth of orders for them. The books were entitled "The Secret of the Ages." He sold over 300,000 sets of them. He also received thousands of letters telling of results obtained from reading the books -- they really worked.
Robert Collier wrote four more courses, which he sold separately as "The God in You," "The Secret Power," "The Magic Word," and "The Law of the Higher Potential." He later combined this excellent material into one book, titling it, "The Law of the Higher Potential." It has since been renamed: "Riches Within Your Reach." He also condensed the seven volumes of "The Secret of the Ages" into one book, which has proven to be a best seller for many, many years. It has been translated into German, Italian, French, and Spanish, and sold all over the world.
Robert Collier was a devoted husband and the father of six children. He died of cancer in 1950, but his books endure. Robert Collier Publications still exists through the unwavering efforts of his widow until her passing, his children and now, his grandchildren and great grandchildren. The messages he wrote for us remain as relevant today as when they were first written.
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