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Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993)

Minister, Author

Rev. Norman Vincent Pearle, 33°, who served as an inspiration to many generations through his sermons, addresses, and writings, died at his home in Pawling, N.Y., on Dec. 24, 1993, but the words he expressed will live on.

For more than 50 years he was senior pastor at the historic Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. His previous pastorates were in Berkeley, R.I., Brooklyn, and Syracuse, N.Y.

He was noted for many books and articles, but the most renowned was The Power of Positive Thinking, which sold more than 18 million copies world-wide. He often took part in radio and television broadcasts.

In 1930, he married Ruth Stafford, and they were the proud parents of two daughters and a son. He and his wife published the monthly Guideposts magazines, with inspirational religious messages, and also established the Center for Christian Living.

Dr. Peale was raised a Master Mason on March 3, 1926, in Midwood Lodge No. 1062, which consolidated in 1970 with Lexington Lodge NO. 310 to become Midwood Lodge No. 310. He was Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of New York, 1948-51.

He completed the degrees of the Scottish Rite in the Valley of Syracuse in 1928, and affiliated with the Valley of New York City in 1934. In recognition of his outstanding service to humanity, he was the recipient of the 33° in 1959. In 1973, Dr. Peale was awarded the Gourgas Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the Northern Jurisdiction, and in 1987 received the Grand Cross from the Southern Jurisdiction.

Dr. Peale was a former Imperial Chaplain of the Shrine of North America and a Grand Prelate of the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, U.S.A.

In a February 1993 article for the Southern Jurisdiction's Scottish Rite Journal, Dr. Peale responded to religious criticism of the fraternity by offering his views on the importance of Freemasonry:

"To me, Freemasonry is one form of dedication to God and service to humanity. I am proud to walk in fraternal fellowship with my Brethren. Why am I a Freemason? Simply because I am proud to be a man who wants to keep the moral standards of life at high level and leave something behind so others will benefit. Only as I, personally, become better, can I help others to do the same."