Short of breath and brainpower but not success

Julius Rosenwald, who made a huge fortune as head of Sears Roebuck, once said: ’I never could understand the popular belief that because a man makes a lot of money he has a lot of brains. Some very rich men who made their own fortunes have been among the stupidest men I have ever met in my life. Rich men are not smart because they are rich. They didn’t get rich because they are smart. Don’t ever confuse wealth with brains.’

Julius Rosenwald, who made a huge fortune as head of Sears Roebuck,

once said: ’I never could understand the popular belief that because a

man makes a lot of money he has a lot of brains. Some very rich men who

made their own fortunes have been among the stupidest men I have ever

met in my life. Rich men are not smart because they are rich. They

didn’t get rich because they are smart. Don’t ever confuse wealth with

brains.’



Gentle reader, do you know what your IQ is? I had always supposed mine

to be about 145, below the genius level but normal for professional and

administrative types. But I recently tested myself and scored 96, which

is normal for ditch diggers.



Nor has this been my only handicap. At the age of nine, I contracted

asthma, and this crippling disease did not leave me until I was

middle-aged. I have more than my share of phobias. I am frightened of

the sea.



My earliest memory is being rowed out 100 yards from the beach and

yelling to the boatman: ’Take me in, damn you, I’m out of my depth.’

Twenty-five years later, in a slight swell outside Newport, Jerry

Lambert was woken at four o’clock one morning by my shouts on the deck

of his 185ft schooner: ’Man the boats! Every man for himself!’



I am so terrified of elevators that when I worked in Bill Stephenson’s

office on the 36th floor of Rockefeller Center, I never went out to

lunch.



But my most acute phobia is for turbulence in aircraft, a curse which no

amount of grog, hypnosis, or psychiatric pills can exorcise. On those

rare occasions when I am forced to travel by airplane, I never forget

for a minute that the trains below are four times as safe.



The only games I can play are croquet and Attaque; no golf or tennis or

bridge or chess. The only dances I can dance are the polka and the

gallop. I read at a snail’s pace, but do not move my lips. I have no

small talk, but am the best listener you can ever hope to meet. My

silliest vice is that I go to cumbersome lengths to avoid everything

that is unpleasant, like uncongenial society. As a young man I was

conspicuously handsome, although I was not aware of it at the time. In

any case, it was no particular advantage; as the Spanish proverb has it,

el hombre como el oso; mientras mas feo mas hermoso - as with bears, so

with men, the uglier the handsomer.



When John Wilkes, the ugliest man in 18th century England, was asked to

explain his notorious success with women, he replied: ’It takes me half

an hour to talk my face away.’



Extracted from David Ogilvy: An Autobiography (published by John Wiley

on March 20).



Marketing is pleased to offer readers the book at the special price of

pounds 13.50 (RRP pounds 16.99). Please order from Belinda Giacopazzo on

01243 843264 (fax 843296), quoting reference ’Ogilvy’. Postage is pounds

2 for a single copy, two or more sent free.



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