James Allen (1864-1912) was born into a working-class British family. At age fifteen, his father was tragically killed, and James dropped out of school to work and support his family. Reading voraciously and developing his writing skills during his few spare hours, he worked his way up to the level of executive secretary. Through it all, James focused his thoughts on truth, beauty, virtue, and success, and these qualities came to define his life. At age 38, James retired from business to become a full-time writer and contemplative philosopher, pouring out his thoughts in a steady stream of books, the most renowned being As a Man Thinketh.