The Entrepreneur Jim Rohn Biography

Jim Rohn Quick Facts:

  • Born: Emanuel James Rohn
  • Born on: September 17, 1930 (Yakima, Washington)
  • Died: December 5, 2009 (aged 79)
  • Nationality: American
  • Occupation: entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker

Jim Rohn
By Ramine5677 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn was born on September 17, 1930 and he died on December 5, 2009.  Jim Rohn was an American motivational speaker, entrepreneur and author. He has a rags to riches story, which played a significant role in his work, which was to influence others through the personal development industry.

Early life

Jim Rohn was born in Yakima, which is in the US state of Washington.  His parents were Emanuel and Clara Rohn.  His parents had no other children so Jim was an only child and grew up of a farm that was owned and worked on by the Rohn’s in Caldwell, in the US state of Idaho.

His Career

Jim Rohn professional life started when he began working as a stock clerk at Sears the department store.

At around the same time, he attended a lecture by entrepreneur John Earl Shoaff at the invite of a friend.  By 1955, Jim Rohn had joined Shoaff’s direct selling business AbundaVita.  His role was as a distributor.

By 1958, Jim Rohn had resigned from AbundaVita where he had a distributorship and joined Nutri-Bio, who was another direct selling company.  After joining Nutri-Bio, the company’s founders, including Shoaff, started to mentor him.

As a result of his mentorship, Jim Rohn built one of the largest organizations in the company.

In 1960 Jim Rohn was promoted to a vice president for the organization after Nutri-Bio expanded into Canada.

In the early 1960s, Nutri-Bio went out of business.  After this happened, Rohn was invited to speak at a meeting of his Rotary Club. He accepted and others began asking him to speak at various luncheons and other events.

In 1963, he gave his first public seminar at the Beverly Hills Hotel. He then began presenting seminars all over the country, telling his story and teaching his personal development philosophy.

Throughout the 1970s, Jim Rohn ran a number of seminars for Standard Oil. At the same time, he did both live seminars as well as personal development workshops for a personal development business called “Adventures in Achievement.”  During his career, he presented seminars worldwide for more than 40 years.

In the late 1970s, Jim Rohn mentored motivational speaker Tony Robbins and Mark R. Hughes (the founder of Herbalife International).  Others who credit Jim Rohn influence a number of people’s careers, none more than authors Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup book series), T. Harv Eker and author/lecturer Brian Tracy. He also co-authored with motivational speaker Chris Widener the book Twelve Pillars.

Jim Rohn during his life has author of 17 different courses/materials in various media formats (written, audio, and video)

In 1985 Jim Rohn received the National Speakers Association CPAE Award for excellence in speaking.

In 1991 Jim Rohn published a book called “Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle.”  This book considered the 5 important components of success:

  • Philosophy – how you think
  • Attitude – how you feel
  • Action – what you do
  • Results – measure often to see if you are making progress
  • Lifestyle – the kind of life you can make for yourself out of the first four pieces


Jim Rohn died of pulmonary fibrosis on December 5, 2009 aged 79. He is buried in Glendale, California.

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