“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” — Helen Keller
On January 8 in 1935, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Miss. In 2012 Andy Warhol’s “Double Elvis” sold for 37 million dollars. What made Elvis the subject of Andy Warhol’s art? Elvis went from just another kid in a Southern grade school to cultural icon. Cultural icons were Warhol’s schtick, as he himself became one.
About 15 years ago, reading a bio about Elvis led to an idea for a short story about a man who made it his mission to write….
The Definitive Elvis Biography
J. Franklin Harris III believed there was nothing he couldn’t do if he but put his mind to it. His talent for excellence appeared early in life. By age ten he spoke three languages with fluency. In his early teens he excelled in football, wrestling and baseball, as boys often do, with no detriment to his studies, still finding time to be the social phenom of his class. In scouts, he became the youngest in his state to attain the Order of the Arrow for which he also wrote an exemplary study of the virtues of selflessness as practiced by the Native Americans who inhabited our land before the arrival of white men. At 16 he gained admittance to the Massachusettes Institute of Technology, where he achieved his masters degree in engineering by age 20.
These items fade in importance next to his career successes, rising to the top of a fortune fifty company in less than eight years, masterminding a marketing coup in the booming electronics industry and stumbling upon a solution to the problem of applied polymorphic synthesized neural implants for chimpanzees.
In 1980, at age 30, he founded a consulting firm and began real problem solving in a big way, his earnest desire: to keep America competitive in the global marketplace. (Such idealism is typical among our youth.) He had seen the handwriting on the wall, that U.S. industry was losing ground and would have to wake up if it were not to be irretrievably lost.
One success followed another. Numerous articles appeared in business journals citing Harris’ achievements. But by 1988 the laudatory articles and speaking opportunities failed to garner…