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Old 02-16-2006, 01:20 PM
brianmelendez brianmelendez is offline
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"The harder I work, the luckier I get": Original source?

Does anyone know who originally coined this expression? I have seen it attributed to Ralph Engelstad, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Goldwyn, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Kettering, Stephen Leacock, and Ron Harper (who wrote a book with that title but, as far as I know, nowhere explicitly claimed authorship).

Since there is evidently some disagreement about the original source, a citation would be most welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2006, 01:25 PM
PatriotX PatriotX is offline
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I've seen it in multiple formulations. That may be the source of the confusion and conflations.

Chance benefits the prepared
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Old 02-16-2006, 03:13 PM
Mister Rik Mister Rik is offline
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Here's the version I have:

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it." --Thomas Jefferson
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Old 02-16-2006, 04:02 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is online now
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I've read some of Thomas Jefferson's writing and that quote doesn't sound at all like him.

I can find it attributed all the way back to Benjamin Franklin, and that's more of a possibility as an adage, but it still sounds way too modern in tone to be either.
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Old 02-16-2006, 09:50 PM
bobk2 bobk2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase
I've read some of Thomas Jefferson's writing and that quote doesn't sound at all like him.

I can find it attributed all the way back to Benjamin Franklin, and that's more of a possibility as an adage, but it still sounds way too modern in tone to be either.
I have also heard it attributed to Franklin. However, I have also heard that Franklin would employ and/or update known 'common' sayings, and then end up with it being attributed to him. It wasn't plagarism; he was just the first to write it down in something that became widely distributed.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:01 AM
baldiggle baldiggle is offline
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Not confusion! Confucius

Patriot X's post was closest, kind of. I no longer have the book for an exact citation. However in one of the later sets of the Harvard Classics (Green ones). The quotation is in Confucius's sayings. I have been looking for the book online, but the ones I find have Confucius in the same volume as others. I am thinking that Confucius had his own volume in the set I remember.
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:14 AM
Koxinga Koxinga is offline
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Oh, horse dung. Confucius said nothing of the sort. Sun Tzu, maaaaybe, at a stretch, in a loose translation.

Last edited by Koxinga; 01-27-2013 at 03:14 AM..
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:49 AM
Tammi Terrell Tammi Terrell is offline
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Garson O'Toole attributes this to Coleman Cox (1922),

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/07/21/luck-hard-work/

(Barry Popik does the same.)
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