About Og

About Og Mandino

Augustine “Og” Mandino II was born on December 12, 1923. He was named after his paternal grandfather. Og was once the editor of a high school paper and planned to attend the University of Missouri’s journalism school, but in the summer of 1940, before he was able to enter college, his mother died suddenly from a massive heart attack. This happened while Og’s mother was in the kitchen preparing his lunch. After the incident, Og decided to work in a paper factory until 1942. Afterwards, Og joined the United States Army Air Corps where he became a military officer and a bombardier. He flew for thirty bombing missions over Germany on board a B-24 Liberator during World War II. It was also during this time that Og flew with fellow pilot and movie star, James Stewart. Og kept a personalized 8 X 10 photograph of Stewart. This photograph hung on the wall of his home office where he wrote his books.

After his military duties, Og discovered that few companies were hiring former bomber pilots. As a result, he became an insurance salesman. Traveling on the road and sitting in bars at night, Og became an alcoholic. He was unable to keep a job. As a result, his first wife and child left him. One wintry November morning in Cleveland, Og almost took his life. Instead he went to the local library. He sorted through several books in a library. Volumes of self-help, success, and motivation books captured Og’s attention. He selected some titles, went to a table and began reading. Og followed his visit to the library with more visits to many other libraries around the United States. He read hundreds of books that dealt with success, a pastime that helped him alleviate his alcoholism. It was in a library in Concord, New Hampshire, where he found W. Clement Stone’s classic, Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude, a book that changed Og for the better. Og eventually became a successful writer and speaker. His works were inspired by Napoleon Hill, W. Clement Stone, and Emmet Fox. He was inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame.

Click play to listen to Og's personal story recorded in his own voice in the spring of 1996,
only a few months before he unexpectedly passed away.

Og's Favorite Things

Og loved Pasta and very spicy foods. His wife Bette use to carry a jar of red pepper in her purse for Og. He loved to play golf and also enjoyed track and field events. His favorite color was green. He would always try to sign books with a green pen. Og was color blind. Bette would actually label his clothes for him when he went on business trips. Og found this very humorous and at speaking engagements he would even show the cards marking which tie, pants and sport coat to wear to his audience. Og loved to read. His library was legendary.

Bette's Side of the Story

Og and Bette were married December 9, 1957. Og said in describing Bette, “She had a lot more faith in me than I had in myself.” Bette was Og’s unofficial editor for all of his books. She would say, “If I can understand it everyone can.”