December 11, 2018

Carly Buggy
484-385-2934 (office)
[email protected]

New York Times Best-Selling Author John C. Maxwell to Receive 2019 Horatio Alger Award 

Horatio Alger Association names 13 outstanding individuals, each of whom has overcome adversity to achieve professional and personal success, to its New Member Class of 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 11, 2018) – Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that John C. Maxwell, author, speaker and founder, The John Maxwell Company and The John Maxwell Team, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. Mr. Maxwell joins 12 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2019 honors. For more than 70 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to higher education and charitable endeavors throughout their lives.

Mr. Maxwell grew up in a hard-working, faith-based home in Ohio. His father was a pastor, church district superintendent and college president, and his mother babysat for local families. Inspired by their work ethic, Mr. Maxwell knew he wanted to follow in his father’s ministerial footsteps. He earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Ohio Christian University, a master’s degree in divinity from Azusa Pacific University and a doctorate of ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. He then immersed himself in his religion, taking comfort in its teachings.

In 1969, Mr. Maxwell became the pastor of a small country church in Indiana, then led other churches in Ohio and California. Carrying forward the work ethic of his parents, he served his communities on weekends and painted houses during the week, while his wife, Margaret, taught kindergarten. Mr. Maxwell eventually left his pastorship in 1995 to devote himself to speaking and writing, sharing his life’s many lessons with others. He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, EQUIP, and the John Maxwell Leadership Foundation, organizations that have trained millions of leaders from every country of the world. He has also published more than 100 books, several of which have become New York Times bestsellers.

“Through his pastoral and corporate experiences, John has mastered the art of effective and empathetic leadership,” said Matthew Rose, president, Horatio Alger Association and 2013 Horatio Alger Award recipient. “He inspires so many around the world to do better, be better, and listen to one another’s needs to serve better. John embodies the compassion our Scholars search for at every life turn, and we are delighted to present him with this Award.”

In addition to his professional achievements, Mr. Maxwell has been recognized as a global leader by numerous respected organizations. In 2005, he was included in the Top 25 Authors Hall of Fame for Amazon’s 10th Anniversary. In 2012, he received Toastmaster’s International Golden Gavel Award, and in 2014, he was named the top leadership expert in the world by Inc. Magazine and was awarded the Mother Teresa Prize for Global Peace and Leadership from the Luminary Leadership Network. By 2015, Mr. Maxwell established The John Maxwell Leadership Foundation, which focuses on transforming the world by developing inspirational leaders in government, business, arts, education, church, media and family.

“I am honored to join the Horatio Alger Association as a lifetime Member,” said Mr. Maxwell. “The Scholars and the Association itself represent my life’s work in truest form. Many of the most impactful moments in my life have centered around mentorship and times when people believed in me and pushed me to do more. I look forward to offering that same guidance and support to our nation’s young people through this remarkable organization.”

Through its Members, Horatio Alger Association aims to educate young people about the limitless opportunities afforded to them by the free-enterprise system. To further this mission, the organization awards scholarships to outstanding high school students who are committed to pursuing higher education and giving back to their communities. Like Association Members, Horatio Alger Scholars have faced significant adversities, but have also displayed unmatched resilience in overcoming their challenges. Since the scholarship program was established in 1984, Horatio Alger Association has provided more than $159 million to students in need, all of which has been funded solely through the generosity of Association Members and friends.

“Mr. Maxwell brings a relatable honesty from his upbringing and the outstanding achievements that followed,” said Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association. “I know that our Scholars will find hope in his story, and he will serve as an approachable and trustworthy mentor to them, as he has done for so many people throughout his life.”

Mr. Maxwell and the Member Class of 2019 will be formally inducted into the Association on April 4-6, 2019, during the Association’s 72nd Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. The annual three-day event honors the achievements of both Members and National Scholars, affording both groups the opportunity to meet and interact as well as exchange stories of hardships and triumphs.

For more information about Horatio Alger Association and its Member Class of 2019, please visit and/or follow the organization on FacebookTwitter and Instagram using the hashtag #HoratioAlgerAward.


 About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:

Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, in 2018, the Association awarded more than $16 million in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada, and also provided college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $159 million in college scholarships to more than 25,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit