Franklin Lyle (Frank) Bettger (1888 – 1981) was a salesman and self-help author. He was the father of longtime actor Lyle Bettger. He played Major League baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1910 under the name Frank Betcher.
After his brief baseball career, Bettger returned to his native Philadelphia, where he started collecting accounts for a furniture store on a bike. He then started selling insurance, but was not successful and considered quitting after 10 months. Finally, Bettger succeeded and later became the author of the best-selling books How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling and How I Multiplied My Income and Happiness in Selling. How I Raised Myself… was translated into over a dozen languages, including Hungarian, Portuguese, French, Danish, German, Polish, Swedish, Spanish, Japanese, Dutch, British English, Norwegian, Italian and Finnish.
Bettger also gave a series of lectures to Jaycees organizations nationwide with Dale Carnegie.
Bettger had plenty of insurance that would have benefited his wife after he died, but he lived into his 90s. As a result, Bettger and his wife outlived their assets. According to the National Speakers Association (NSA), members dug deep and provided generously to the couple.
When Mrs. Bettger repaid the money from the insurance proceeds after Frank’s death, the money was put into a fund that would be available to others in need – thus providing the original funding for the Professional Speakers Benefit Fund (PSBF). The mission of the PSBF is to help other members who may be indigent, face catastrophic health emergencies or losses, or outlive their assets.
The book How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling was translated in Romanian as “Cum am devenit expert in vanzari – de la esec la succes”.
Frank Bettger wrote a last book, entitled “How I learned the secrets of success in selling” in 1960. More of an autobiography, it focus more on his life and the lessons he learnt during his short career in baseball. He reflects how these lessons at an early age helped model him into the success that he was to become.
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