Zig Ziglar was born Hilary Hinton Ziglar in Gary, Indiana on November 6, 1926. During World War II, he enrolled in a Navy college training program but did not graduate. After a long career as a salesman, he decided that the product he sold best was his own energy and optimism. He began speaking to sales groups in the 1950s, but did not become a full-time motivational speaker until the early 1970s. He worked as a motivational speaker for more than 40 years. He also wrote more than 25 books including See You at the Top, Top Performance: How to Develop Excellence in Yourself and Others, Selling 101: What Every Successful Sales Professional Needs to Know, and Born to Win: Find Your Success Code. He died of pneumonia on November 28, 2012 at the age of 86.