Samuel Smiles, 1812 - 1904

portrait of Samuel Smiles
Portrait by Sir George Reid (ca. 1870)
Samuel Smiles signature
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Born: 23 December 1812, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland, UK
Died: 16 April 1904, Kensington, London, England, UK

Smiles was the second of eleven children, he left school at 14 and apprenticed with a doctor, which allowed him to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He practiced medicine but became more interested in politics and became the editor of the Leeds Times from 1838 to 1842 and became secretary of the Leeds Parliamentary Reform Association, an organization that supported the Chartist goals but eschewed violent tactics. He also supported women's suffrage and free trade in his editorials. In 1842 he became secretary of the Leeds and Thirsk Railway, later moving to the South Eastern Railway and became fascinated by the virtue of hard work. He wrote and spoke on the subject, culminating in his magnum opus Self Help in 1859. He also wrote a number of biographies, mostly of successful business men.

Biography from Wikipedia and Nineteenth Century Britain

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