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Forbes Great Success Stories: Twelve Tales of Victory Wrested from Defeat

ISBN: 978-1-118-05756-8
288 pages
January 2001
Forbes Great Success Stories: Twelve Tales of Victory Wrested from Defeat (1118057562) cover image
Behind every success story worth telling there's a determined hero who overcame setbacks, disappointments, and even failures before emerging victorious-and rich. The remarkable stories in this book prove that success can be sweeter the second time around. The twelve extraordinary men and women you will meet had already achieved overwhelming success, only to be brought low by utter calamity-bankruptcy, disaster, illness, racial prejudice, even jail. To survive this kind of catastrophe is an achievement in itself, and each of these indomitable spirits not only survived, but also came back to triumph again.

You'll meet Ruth Handler, cofounder of Mattel and creator of Barbie, who, after designing the most popular doll in history, lost her company to corporate infighting and her self-confidence to breast cancer. She battled back by starting a new company to manufacture breast prostheses. You'll come to admire the New England mill owner who led his company to immense prosperity while all of the businesses around him were dying and then had to rise from the ashes of calamity when his business was destroyed by fire.

This cast of incredible characters includes poor kids who made good and rich kids who got richer; famous names and people you've never heard of; the CEO of Oracle, the founder of Domino's Pizza, and more; and some who were victims of fate or malice and others who sowed the seeds of their own destruction. All share a passion for achievement, a dedication to their goals, and a fierce determination to succeed against all odds.

These entertaining and enlightening Great Success Stories go beyond mere "secrets of success" to reveal the remarkable strength of character and will that enabled these heroes to struggle back to the top and, in many cases, to become deeper, stronger, more caring people in the process. They offer inspiration to anyone who is struggling to realize a dream, overcome adversity, or achieve a seemingly unreachable goal.

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Foreword (Steve Forbes).


1. Aaron Feuerstein: CEO and Owner of Malden Mills “Did you ever read the book of Job?”

2. Tom Monaghan: Founder of Domino’s Pizza “I feel that all these setbacks were tools for me to learn from.”

3. Larry Ellison: Founder and CEO of Oracle “When we hit the wall, we hit it very, very hard.”

4. Ruth Handler: Cofounder of Mattel Toys “I’ve been proving myself my whole life: I still am.”

5. Ron Popeil: Founder of Ronco “You might as well go for it.”

6. Emma Chappell: Founder of the United Bank of Philadelphia “I had this awful inclination to give up.”

7. Donald Trump: Chairman of the Trump Organization “Fight back: Always fight back until you win.”

8. Don King: Founder of Don King Productions “I totally eradicated the word failure from my vocabulary.”

9. Bruton Smith: Cofounder of the Charlotte Motor Speedway “Negativity? That’s not the way to make any money.”

10. Earl Stafford: Founder of Universal Systems & Technology (UNITECH), a Leader in Net-Based Training Systems “Bloody, but unbowed.”

11. Jim Stovall: Cocreator of the Narrative Television Network “I was more scared than I’d ever been in my life.”

12. Kevin Maxwell: Founder of Telemonde and Former CEO of Maxwell Communications “One could have—should have—abandoned ship.”




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