Jack Canfield (born August 19, 1944) is an American motivational speaker and author. He is best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, which currently has nearly 200 titles and 112 million copies in print in over 40 languages. According to USA Today, Chicken Soup for the Soul and several of the series titles by Canfield and his writing partner, Mark Victor Hansen, were among the top 150 best-selling books of the last 15 years (October 28, 1993 through October 23, 2008).
In July 2004, Jack Canfield founded the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of thought leaders, speakers, authors, coaches, trainers, researchers, consultants, and other leaders in the fields of personal and professional development. The members of TLC meet semi-annually to network, connect, and learn from each other, to enhance members’ effectiveness and contribution in the world. As of January 2009, membership numbered 99.
Canfield has worked as a teacher, a workshop facilitator, and a psychotherapist. He is a Democrat and a follower of “the secret” and the Law of Attraction, and his hobbies include tennis, travel, skiing, running, billiards, reading, and guitar. In 1962, he graduated from high school at Linsly Military Institute in Wheeling, West Virginia and he received a BA in Chinese History in 1966 from Harvard University and an MEd at University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1973. In 1978 he was named Outstanding Young Man of America by the U.S. Jaycees. On September 9, 1978, he married Georgia Lee Noble, with whom he had a son (Christopher N. Canfield). They divorced in December 1999. On July 4, 2001, Canfield married Inga Marie Mahoney. In the recently released Long Past Stopping, Canfield’s first son, Oran, from a previous marriage, details a troubled childhood with a distant father, as well as his skepticism of the entire self-help genre in which his father became famous.
In 1990, Canfield shared with Mark Victor Hansen the idea for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and after three years, the two had compiled sixty-eight stories. Canfield has appeared on numerous television shows, including Good Morning America, 20/20, Eye to Eye , CNN’s Talk Back Live, PBS, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Montel Williams Show, Larry King Live, and the BBC.
Canfield is the founder of “Self Esteem Seminars” in Santa Barbara, and “The Foundation for Self Esteem” in Culver City, California. One of Canfield’s most recent books, The Success Principles (2005), shares 64 principles that he claims can make people more successful. In 2008, he wrote The Success Principles for Teens with Kent Healy, as a result of the success of his original book. In 2006, he appeared in the DVD, “The Secret”, and shared his insights on the Law of Attraction and tips for achieving success in personal and professional life. In the summer of 2004 Canfield founded The Transformational Leadership Council (TLC), a closed membership, invitation only members’ club.