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Renowned lay speaker Zig Ziglar dies comment (0)

December 6, 2012

PLANO, Texas — Zig Ziglar, known worldwide for his folksy and often anecdotal motivational talks on success through serving others, died Nov. 28 at a Plano, Texas, hospital of complications from pneumonia. He was 86.

Ziglar’s deep, soothing Mississippi drawl and speeches and books often sprinkled with mentions of his Christian faith endeared him to millions. Ziglar was arguably the best-known motivational speaker of his day, having conducted hundreds of corporate seminars and given motivational speeches to hundreds of thousands of people over a 42-year speaking career.

An active Southern Baptist layman and a member at Prestonwood Baptist Church in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Ziglar served as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in 1984–85 during Atlanta pastor Charles Stanley’s tenure as SBC president.

He wrote more than 30 books, including best-sellers “See You at The Top!” and “Confessions of a Happy Christian.” 

Ziglar was born in Coffee County as Hilary Hinton Ziglar, but the nickname “Zig” stuck with him as he grew up in Yazoo City, Miss. Ziglar was a World War II Navy veteran and attended Milsaps College in Jackson, Miss., and the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., before beginning a full-time sales career that would catapult him to fame as “America’s motivator.”

Ziglar is survived by his wife, Jean; one son; two daughters; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

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