Peale, Ruth Stafford 1906-2008 (Loretta Ruth Stafford)

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Peale, Ruth Stafford 1906-2008 (Loretta Ruth Stafford)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 10, 1906, in Fonda, IA; died February 6, 2008, in Pawling, NY. Nonprofit executive, inspirational speaker, publisher, columnist, and author. Peale was married for more than sixty years to charismatic minister and motivational speaker Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, but she was enormously influential in her own right. She and her husband founded the Guideposts organization together in 1945, but it was Mrs. Peale who spearheaded the inspirational magazine of the same title. After her husband's death in 1993, she also continued his work through the Peale Center for Christian Living and carried out her own initiatives through the Ruth Stafford Peale Prayer Power Network and the online prayer community, which was launched officially in 2008, shortly after her death. Peale was an active supporter of religious and inspirational outreach programs from the international level down to the community where she lived. She was the first female president of the National Board of North American Missions of the Reformed Church in America and a member of numerous other church boards, both within her own denomination as well as in the larger religious community. These ranged from the National Council of Churches to the Knit for Kids Program. Peale and her husband wrote the syndicated column "There's an Answer" and published Guideposts and PLUS: The Magazine of Positive Thinking. Mrs. Peale was the president of book publisher Fleming H. Revell from 1985 to 1992. Peale's work earned her much respect and dozens of prestigious awards. She was named churchwoman of the year by Religious Heritage of America in 1969 and dubbed a woman of distinction by the RCA Women of the Reformed Church of America in 2001. She received the Gold Angel Award from Religion in Media in 1987 and the Light Award from the CANDL Foundation of Carolyn and Lou Brown in 2000. In addition to her memoirs of life with Norman Vincent Peale, Mrs. Peale coauthored The Adventures of Being a Wife (1971), which was also published as Secrets of Staying in Love.



Peale, Ruth Stafford, I Married a Minister, Abingdon-Cokesbury (Nashville, TN), 1942.

Peale, Ruth Stafford, and Jo Kadlecek, A Lifetime of Positive Thinking, Guideposts (Carmel, NY), 2001.


Chicago Tribune, February 8, 2008, sec. 3, p. 7.

Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2008, p. B6.

New York Times, February 7, 2008, p. C12.


One Man's Way (documentary film), c. 1963.