John Peale Shares His Story

Apr 30, 2013

Recently, one of the nation’s best-known religious leaders announced that his 27-year-old son had committed suicide. 

Rick Warren , pastor of a mega-church in Southern California and author of the best-selling Purpose Driven Life said Matthew Warren had suffered from depression.  Here in Virginia, the son of another church superstar says he can relate.  

Norman Vincent Peale was a prominent preacher, who gained fame during the Great Depression and wrote The Power of Positive Thinking  -- an inspirational tome translated into 15 different languages.  He mesmerized parishioners in New England and New York, and gave guest sermons around the world.  

Growing up with Norman Vincent Peale wasn’t easy.  He was often on the road, and when he was home, he cast a very large shadow, says his son John, who now lives in Charlottesville.

“It was apparent that the only thing going on in the Peale home worth anything was what he was doing.”

Still, John Peale loved and admired his dad.  He followed in his footsteps, becoming an ordained minister, but John studied at a liberal center of theology in New York City – sparking a curt note from his famous father.

“Dear John. I cannot understand why you are going into the seat of my most implacable enemies. Love Dad.”

 Audio FileHear the story as Sandy Hausman talks with John Poole about his own power of positive thinking.Edit | Remove