Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar dies at 86

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – He was a motivational speaker, author and American icon. Zig Ziglar has died at age 86.

Nobody could self-deprecation to get his point across like Ziglar. "By choice I weighed well over 200 pounds. I say by choice because you see, I have never accidentally eaten anything," he once said.

Ziglar died today in Dallas, after a brief bout with pneumonia.

A statement posted on Ziglar's Facebook page said, in part -

"Zig Ziglar passed from this world today after a short bout with pneumonia. Though his time on earth has ended, he is speaking with Jesus now in his heavenly home. The angels in heaven are rejoicing and his family is celebrating a life well lived."

The World War II veteran was the son of a farm manager and worked his way up the sales ladder before moving to Dallas as vice president and training director at the Automotive Performance Company. He was also a mentor to Howard Putnam, CEO of both Braniff and Southwest Airlines.

"He almost created an industry by himself," Putnam said. "You know he was a salesman, selling pots and pans, down in Yazoo, Mississippi or somewhere and got into speaking. So he was the first."

Even into his 80s Ziglar continued to speak and looked for the positive, even in negative thinkers. He would joke, "Some people do really find fault like there's a reward for it."

In his later years Ziglar kept busy, teaching Sunday school classes at Prestonwood Baptist Church. Leaders at the church issued a statement that said, in part -

"We have lost a giant of the faith who was able to connect Kingdom principles with professional life in a way that brought excellence, integrity and productivity to the workplace in the name of Jesus Christ."

Funeral arrangements for Zig Ziglar are pending.


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