Elbert Hubbard 1856-1915 American Editor, Publisher, Author

Mark Matteson Blog

Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard was the author of the moralistic essay “A Message to Garcia.” A freelance newspaperman and head of sales and advertising for a manufacturing company, Hubbard retired in 1892 and founded Roycroft Press in 1893 at East Aurora, NY on the model of William Morris’ communal Kelmscott Press, which he had visited in England. Beginning in 1895 he issued monthly the famous “Little Journey” booklets. These were pleasant biographical essays on famous persons, in which fact was interwoven with comment and satire. Hubbard also began publishing The Philistine, an avant-garde magazine, which he ultimately wrote single-handedly. In an 1899 number of The Philistine, “A Message to Garcia” appeared, in which the importance of perseverance was drawn as a moral from a Spanish-American War incident. In 1908 Hubbard began to edit and publish a second monthly, The Fra. His printing establishment in time expanded to include furniture and leather shops, a smithy, and an art school, as had the operations of William Morris. Elbert Hubbard died in the sinking of the ocean liner Lusitania.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from this little known genius.

Folks who never do any more than they are paid for, never get paid for more than they do.

The greatest mistake you can make is fearing you will make one.

To avoid criticism, DO nothing, SAY nothing, BE nothing.

A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run.

A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience.

A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

A pessimist? That’s a man who has been intimately acquainted with an optimist.

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the token of greatness.

Art is not a thing, it’s a way.

Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.

Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and the way we spend it.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.

Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed. There is so little competition.

Every man is a damn fool for at least five minutes every day; wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit.

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