Top 20 Best Personal Development Authors of All Time

Ever wanted to start reading self-development books, but you’re not sure who the best personal development authors to follow are?

You’re in luck…

I’m about to give you the names of what I believe to be the top 20 best self-development authors to be reading up on. These are names to remember when you’re looking for your next book to buy.

 

Top 20 Best Personal Development Authors

Here are, in no particular order, the names of the 20 best authors to start reading up on. I would have loved to include a few other names on this list, but the top 20 is what it is!

 

1. Jack Canfield

38 Jack Canfield Quotes (Chicken Soup for the Soul)

Jack Canfield is the legend behind the ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ series; one of the most popular self-development book series of all time.

Over 250+ books have been published by the company, and Canfield has gone on to become a leading motivational speaker and trainer.

 

2. Napoleon Hill

The 35 Most Notorious Napoleon Hill Quotes

Napoleon Hill is the author behind the notorious ‘Think & Grow Rich‘, one of the most popular self-development books of all time.

Hill teaches the principles of attaining any riches you desire in life, and there is so much valuable information within this book, that it’ll always be remembered.

 

3. Dale Carnegie

55 Powerful Dale Carnegie Quotes to Live By

Another self-development author you have to check out, and one you’ve probably already heard of, is Dale Carnegie. Carnegie lived from 1888 to 1955, and within his life, published a considerable number of self-help books.

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Two of those books, specifically the best selling ones, were ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People‘ and ‘How to Stop Worrying & Start Living‘.

 

4. Robert B. Cialdini

58 Wisdom Filled Robert B. Cialdini Quotes

You probably know Cialdini as the author of ‘Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion‘. This book is highly regarded as one of the best self-development books of all time, as well as one of the best psychology books to read.

 

5. Tim Ferriss

36 Tim Ferriss Quotes That Truly Inspire

If you’re not following Tim Ferriss, I don’t know what you’re doing. There are three best selling books that every Tim Ferriss fan will have read, and they’ve helped change the lives of millions.

Those three books are:

  • The Four Hour Work Week
  • The Four Hour Body
  • Tools For Titans

 

6. Dr. Wayne Dyer

Dr. Wayne Dyer Quotes in Remembrance of His Life

Sadly, Wayne Dyer passed away just 2 years ago. He was an American philosopher, self-help author and motivational speaker. Dyer wrote over 40 books in the field of personal development, and they have sold in tens of millions.

 

7. John C. Maxwell

50 John C. Maxwell Quotes on Leadership & Growth

John Maxwell is an American author, speaker and pastor. He focuses solely on leadership, and training other to become wise and wonderful leaders.

Maxwell has written a ton of incredible books, however these are some the most popular books he’s written:

  • The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
  • Developing The Leader Within You
  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
  • How Successful People Think
  • Failing Forward

 

8. Anthony Robbins

Tony Robbins - Best Motivational Speakers in the World

Tony Robbins, what a guy! Tony has helped people all over the world to transform their lives, and there’s so much wisdom we can all gain from listening to his speeches, and reading his content.

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If you want to learn more about Tony Robbins and his work, you can check out these books:

  • Awaken the Giant Within
  • Unlimited Power
  • Unshakeable

 

9. Paulo Coelho

53 Incredible Paulo Coelho Quotes

You probably know Paulo Coelho for his best selling book, ‘The Alchemist‘. Coelho is a best selling author, lyricist and novelist, and has received many awards for his work over the years.

The Alchemist is definitely a book you should read if you’re an ambitious individual trying to pursue your dreams and overcome any obstacles in your way.

 

10. Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra - Best Personal Development Authors

Deepak Chopra is an American author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate, and a prominent figure in the New Age movement.

Chopra has become one of the most influential figures in the area of spiritual healing and alternative medicine. Some of his best selling books you should be adding to your reading list are:

  • Re-inventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul
  • Creating Affluence
  • The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

 

11. Peter F. Drucker

Peter Drucker - Best Personal Development Authors

Peter Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation.

You probably know him as the author behind ‘Managing Oneself‘, and if you don’t, then you should.

 

12. Martha Beck

Martha Beck - Best Personal Development Authors

Martha Nibley Beck is an American sociologist, life coach, best-selling author, and speaker who travels the world helping people achieve personal and professional goals.

Some of Martha’s most popular books are:

  • Finding Your Own North Star
  • Find Your Way In A Wild New World
  • The 4-Day Win
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13. Stephen R. Covey

Stephen Covey - Best Personal Development Authors

I first encountered Stephen Covey’s work when I purchased ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, which at the time had sold over 15 million copies!

Covey was an American educator, speaker and author. He sadly passed away 5 years ago, but his work has lived on to be some of the best reading material anybody could ever purchase.

 

14. Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy - Best Motivational Speakers in the World

Brian Tracy is a Canadian-born American motivational public speaker and self-development author. He is the author of over 70 books that have been translated into dozens of languages.

Some of his most notorious books are:

  • No Excuses: The Power of Discipline
  • Eat That Frog!

 

15. Les Brown

Les Brown - Best Motivational Speakers in the World

Les Brown is one of my favorite motivational speakers of all time. Les was labelled educable mentally retarded when he was younger, and was born on the floor of an abandoned building.

Some of his most popular and best selling books are ‘Live Your Dreams‘ and ‘It’s Not Over Until You Win‘.

 

16. Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn - Best Motivational Speakers in the World

Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. He was responsible for changing many people’s lives, and even mentored Tony Robbins once upon a time.

These are some of the most popular self-development books by Jim Rohn:

  • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness
  • My Philosophy for Successful Living
  • The Keys to Success

 

17. Gary Keller

Gary Keller - Best Personal Development Authors

Gary Keller is an American entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is the founder of Keller Williams Realty International, which is the largest real estate company in the world by agent count.

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You’ve probably heard Keller’s name come up when people talk about ‘The ONE Thing’, his best selling self-help book.

 

18. Gabrielle Bernstein

Gabrielle Bernstein - Best Personal Development Authors

Gabrielle Bernstein is an American motivational speaker, life coach, and author. Bernstein teaches primarily from the metaphysical text A Course In Miracles.

Some of here most popular books are:

  • Miracles Now
  • Spirit Junkie
  • May Cause Miracles
  • The Universe Has Your Back

 

19. Brendan Burchard

Brendan Burchard - Best Personal Development Authors

Brendon Burchard is an American author on motivation and the use of digital and affiliate marketing to sell “info products” based on whatever expertise a person has.

He is most commonly known for his book: The Motivation Manifesto, however he has written several other useful and recommended books on the subject of motivation, such as:

  • The Charge
  • The Millionaire Messenger
  • Life’s Golden Ticket

 

20. Joel Osteen

50 Encouraging & Motivating Joel Osteen Quotes

Joel Scott Osteen is an American preacher and televangelist. He is the Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, in Houston, Texas. Osteen’s televised sermons are seen by over 7 million viewers weekly and over 20 million monthly in over 100 countries.

Some of his most popular books are:

  • Think Better, Live Better Study Guide
  • The Power of I Am
  • Fresh Start

 

Summary

That concludes the list of the best personal development authors of all time:

  1. Jack Canfield
  2. Napoleon Hill
  3. Dale Carnegie
  4. Robert B. Cialdini
  5. Tim Ferris
  6. Dr. Wayne Dyer
  7. John C. Maxwell
  8. Anthony Robbins
  9. Paulo Coelho
  10. Deepak Chopra
  11. Peter F. Drucker
  12. Martha Beck
  13. Stephen R. Covey
  14. Brian Tracy
  15. Les Brown
  16. Jim Rohn
  17. Gary Keller
  18. Gabrielle Bernstein
  19. Brendan Burchard
  20. Joel Osteen
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Who are your favorite personal development authors? Leave a comment below.

Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan is a young ambitious guy who has been researching self-development for the past two years and is now off travelling the world. His mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and be the person to whom they say; "Because of you, I never gave up." Join Wealthy Gorilla on Facebook.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I have at least fifty books by eight of the authors on your list. I have read some of them three or four times and learn something new each time. I met Dr. Wayne Dyer and Jim Rohn in person and have often applied their words of wisdom in my life.

  2. Greetings from Australia Dan , I have just stumbled upon your site by “accident”.. As you know ,some would say there was no such factor in play !.. Awesome site ,and great thought-provoking article about those who inspire.. My personal “guru” through early adulthood and onwards , was Stuart Wilde.. An English metaphysician, controversial, and at times polarising.. He inspired millions with his powerful , uncompromising , “at the fringes”,and humorous take on the human condition and all things higher.. His creed to develop silent inner power as a Warrior Sage in the human realm , and to reject control placed over us by other people and authorities , changed my life for the better ,and installed in me the inner strength I possess today.. Recommended reading: “Silent Power”, and “The Force”…Had lunch with him one day ,which was a truly memorable experience… Bob Proctor and Zig Ziglar were other favourites.. Regards….

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