Following a brief battle with pneumonia, devout Christian and legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, 86, passed away Wednesday morning in Dallas.
Ziglar’s wisdom touched many over the course of his 50-year speaking career before he retired in December 2010.
“This is a very sad time,” said Peter Lowe, a motivational speaker who worked with Ziglar for nearly 22 years. “But, it is also a time to celebrate a great man of God who impacted the lives of so many.
"Zig was a man of integrity, and an amazing man of God who always wanted to share his personal faith in Jesus. I have literally talked to thousands of people who have listened to his CDs and told me that it transformed their lives."
Ziglar authored 32 books during his career, including the 1975 release, See You at the Top, whose premise is “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” A total of 10 of those books appeared on best-seller lists and his motivational books and programs continue to be widely distributed through multiple channels.
In his seminars, he combined his Christian beliefs and ideals to every facet of life including business and family.
"Zig had the heart of God, and he knew how to bring that to business people. That's what made him so amazing," Lowe said.
Ziglar's influence extended deeply into the pastoral community.
“We have lost a giant of the faith who was able to connect Kingdom principles with professional life in a way that brought excellence, integrity and productivity to the workplace in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Tony Evans, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas and his wife, Lois Evans, founder of the Pastors’ Wives Ministry, in a statement released Wednesday.
Ziglar is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jean; and their daughter Cindy Oates.
He received many awards during his lifetime, including induction into the Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speaker Hall of Fame. He is one of 10 individuals honored with a lifetime membership to the National Speakers Association; he received the Cavett Award from the National Speakers Association in 2001; was presented the Master of Influence Award in 1999 by the National Speakers Association; and was the recipient of the Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Buffalo Award in 2001.
Ziglar was documented in the Congressional Record of the United States three times for his work with youth in the drug war, and for his dedication to America and the free enterprise system.
His website, Ziglar.com, greets visitors with the familiar Scripture of Romans 8:28, which states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to shoe who are called according to His purpose.”
On Ziglar’s Facebook page is the message, “Zig Ziglar passed from this world today after a short bout with pneumonia. Though his time on earth has ended, he is speaking with Jesus now in his heavenly home. The angels in heaven are rejoicing and his family is celebrating a life well lived.”