Eric Thomas (motivational speaker)

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Eric Thomas
Dr. Eric Thomas.png
Eric D. Thomas

(1970-09-03) September 3, 1970 (age 49)
Alma materOakwood University (B.A.)
Michigan State University (M.A.)
Michigan State University (Ph.D.)
OccupationMotivational speaker; consultant; coach
WebsiteEric Thomas Website

Eric D. Thomas, Ph.D. (born September 3, 1970[1]) is an American motivational speaker, author and minister. Speeches by Thomas are popular on YouTube.[2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Thomas was born in Chicago, IL and raised in Detroit, Michigan. Born to a single, teenage mother and after various arguments with his parents and aunts, he dropped out of high school and lived homeless on the streets of Detroit for two years.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

While he was homeless, he met a preacher who inspired him to go back to school and eventually change lives.[9] He also took a job at an Olive Garden on the westside of Detroit.[10] Around this time, Thomas met his wife, De-De Mosley, at the Detroit Center Seventh-day Adventist Church.[10] They then moved to Huntsville, Alabama, attended Oakwood University, and they were married as college students.[10]

Thomas spent twelve years working toward an undergraduate degree at Oakwood and graduated in 2001.[11] While in Huntsville, Thomas preached and set up a program to help underprivileged youth.[10]


Michigan State University[edit]

In 2003, Thomas took a job with Michigan State University (MSU) along with a fellowship to attend MSU to complete his master's degree in K-12 Administration with an emphasis in Educational Leadership. He worked as an academic adviser to disadvantaged students at MSU.[10] At MSU, he developed an undergraduate retention program called Advantage, targeting academically high-risk minority students. He also served as senior pastor at A Place of Change Ministries in Lansing, Michigan. Thomas attained a master's degree from MSU in 2005, and a PhD in Education Administration in 2015.[12]

Motivational speaker[edit]

After becoming known as a preacher and motivational speaker, Thomas founded a company to offer education consulting, executive coaching and athletic development. Thomas has given motivational talks to collegiate and professional athletes.[13][14][15] Thomas has appeared on Fox News to discuss his work,[16] and portions of his sermons can be heard on the track "Intro" of deep house producers Disclosure's 2013 debut album, Settle, Hip-hop/R&B artist Foster's track "Hard Times" in 2016, and on the intro track "Wins and Losses" to rapper Meek Mill's 2017 album of the same name.


  • The Secret to Success (12)
  • Greatness Is Upon You: Laying the Foundation (Kindle Edition, 2014) ASIN B00NTGO41S
  • Average Skill Phenomenal Will (2016)
  1. ^ "Eric Thomas". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  2. ^ Sarumi, Ahrif (2014-07-17). "Eric Thomas and Tobe Nwigwe Are Mastering Motivation for Youth Culture". Huffington Post. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. ^ Toren, Adam (2015-08-11). "6 Must-See Motivational Videos on YouTube". Entrepreneur. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  4. ^ Lombardi, Matt. "Video: Eric Thomas' Motivational Speech To NC State's Football Team Will Make You Want To Run Through A Wall". College Spun. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  5. ^ Allen, Christopher. "Eric Thomas – Hip Hop Preacher". On The Grind Coach. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  6. ^ Hayes, Princess (2015-07-30). "Eric Thomas 'the hip-hop preacher'". Michigan Chronicle. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  7. ^ Woodyard, Eric. "Motivational speaker Eric Thomas challenges Burton Bentley students to reach for greatness". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  8. ^ Rose, Lisa. "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: THE TRUTH OF ERIC THOMAS". emPower Magazine. Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Eric Thomas Motivational Speaker – Best Quotes, Speeches & Videos!". Fearless Motivation. 2015-05-16. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  10. ^ a b c d e f Rexrode, Joe. "Eric Thomas goes from YouTube sensation to motivating Michigan State teams, and others around the world". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  11. ^ Leebove, Laura. "Building Success". The State News. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Dr. Eric Thomas talks sacrificing "Good" for "Greatness"". WGN Radio. 2015-06-08. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  13. ^ Gribble, Andrew. "Alabama brings in another big-name motivational speaker on off day". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  14. ^ Slovin, Matt. "Motivational speaker Eric Thomas builds rapport with Hoke, Gardner". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  15. ^ Linafelt, Tim. "Thomas Motivates, Teaches Noles To 'Breathe'". Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  16. ^ DiPiazza, Daniel (2015-09-09). "Stop Calling 20-Somethings "Entitled." It's Not True". HuffPost. Retrieved 28 September 2015.

External links[edit]