Ruth Stafford Peale, Wife of Late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Dies at the Age of 101

PAWLING, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ruth Stafford Peale, chairman of the board emeritus and co-founder of Guideposts, died Wednesday, February 6, 2008, at her home in Pawling, NY. She was 101.

Along with her husband, the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, she founded the Guideposts organization in the 1940s to provide inspirational products and services developed from the belief that peoples lives can be improved, strengthened and deepened through applied spiritual faith. Best known is Guideposts, a magazine containing True Stories of Hope and Inspiration, which is today among the top 25 largest publications in America with a paid circulation of 2.5 million and a readership of 8 million.

Born in Fonda, Iowa, she graduated from Syracuse University and taught high school mathematics before her 63-year marriage to Dr. Peale. She was the mother of Margaret Peale Everett, Dr. John Stafford Peale, and Elizabeth Peale Allen, grandmother of eight, and great-grandmother of fourteen.

Mrs. Peale worked closely with her husband, one of the foremost preachers and motivational speakers of the twentieth century and author of the inspirational bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking, in all aspects of his life and work. She, herself, was a religious leader, public speaker and author, influencing the lives of millions.

Instrumental in the launch of Guideposts in 1945, she also arranged for publication of her husbands sermons in an innovative program that grew into the Peale Center, located in Pawling, NY. Under Mrs. Peales guidance, the two organizations blended their strengths in 1995 to form the current Guideposts organization. The outreach division of Guideposts, located at the Peale Center, transforms lives in lasting ways through a number of activities. The Ruth Stafford Peale Prayer Power Network, the worldwide prayer fellowship named in her honor, receives approximately 600,000 prayers a year and will soon launch, a new global online prayer community. The Knit for Kids program distributes nearly 500,000 handmade sweaters worldwide to children in need. In addition, Guideposts distributes hundreds of thousands of free magazines and booklets each year to hospitals, nursing homes, military organizations and relief agencies.

During her lifetime, Mrs. Peale received numerous national awards and honors, including the Horatio Alger Award for Distinguished Americans, four honorary doctoral degrees, and listings in Whos Who in America and Whos Who in the World.

She was a member of the board of directors of the American Bible Society, Interchurch Center, Institutes of Religion and Health and National Bible Association. Mrs. Peale wrote numerous articles that appeared in Readers Digest, Womans Day and Saturday Evening Post and was the author of the book, Secrets of Staying in Love, published by Thomas Nelson. Well into her 90s, Mrs. Peale was active in her executive roles with Guideposts, addressed church, business and womens groups across the country, and appeared on national television broadcasts.

Among her other distinctions, she was the first woman president of the National Board of North American Missions of the Reformed Church in America and the first woman chairman of the Planning and Program Committee of the National Council of Churches 1966 Assembly. Mrs. Peale served for 10 years as national president of the Womens Board of Domestic Missions of the Reformed Church in America, as vice president of the Council of Churches of the City of New York and of the National Council of Churches, as a trustee of Hope College in Holland, MI, Champlain College in Burlington, VT, and Syracuse University in New York, and as a member of the National Womens Board of Northwood Institute.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that gifts be sent to the Ruth Stafford Peale Memorial Fund and forwarded to Guideposts, 39 Seminary Hill Road, Carmel, NY 10512.

MEDIA CONTACT: John Baroody (212) 370-9700 x 118

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Awards Received by Ruth Stafford Peale

The New York State Mother of the Year Award1963

Distinguished Woman of the Year from the National Art Association

Cum Laude Award from Syracuse University Alumni Association NY--1965

Honor Iowans Award from Buena Vista College--1966

Churchwoman of the Year by the Religious Heritage of America1969

American Mothers Committee Religion Award1970

First Honorary Chancellor Weber College, 1972-1973

The Distinguished Service Award from the Council of Churches, NYC1973

Distinguished Citizen Award from Champlain College1976

Distinguished Service to Community and Nation, General Federation of Womens Clubs1977

The Governors Award from the State of Nebraska

The Horatio Alger Award1977

Religious Heritage Award1979

The Frances E. Willard Award of Achievement of Alpha Phi Fraternity

American Achievers Award

Society for Family of Man Award (joint medallion with Dr. Peale)1981

Adlerson-Broaddus Award--1982

Brides Magazine Marriage Achievement Award (on 54 years of marriage to Dr. Peale)1984

Golden Angel Award by Religion in Media1987

Adela Rogers St. John Round Table Award (with Dr. Peale)1987

Distinguished Achievement Award from American Aging Association (with Dr. Peale)1987

International Communications Galaxy of Fame1987

Salute to Women in Industry, YWCA1988

Paul Harris Award from New York Rotary1989

Arthritis Foundation Dutchess County Leaders Award1992

International Platform Association Norman Vincent Peale Award for Leader in Communications--1994

The Dave Thomas Well Done! Award1994

Norman Vincent Peale Award for Positive Thinking1994

Member of Whos Who Worldwide, Whos Who Registry of Business Leaders1994

Master of Influence Award, National Speakers Association1995

A Special Citation from the Laymens National Bible Committee1997

The Leadership Award, Worldwide Leadership Council1998

Certificate for Distinguished Service, New York State Federated Womens Clubs1999

Woman of the Year, American Association of University Women2000

Candl Foundation Award2000

Key to the City of Huntsville, AL2000

Woman of Distinction by Reformed Church in America2001

Ruth Stafford Peale Honorary Degrees

Doctor of Laws, Syracuse University1953

Doctor of Letters, Hope College1962

Doctor of Humane Letters, Milwaukee School of Engineering1985

Doctor of Humane Letters, Judson College--1988


John Baroody, 212-370-9700 x 118

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