Self-made man

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A "self-made man" or "self-made woman" is a person who was born poor or otherwise disadvantaged, but who achieves economic or other success thanks to their own hard work and ingenuity rather than because of any inherited fortune, family connections, or other privileges.

In the cultural history of the United States, the idea of the self-made man, an "essential American figure," looms large. It has been described as an archetype, a cultural ideal, a myth, or a cult.[1][2]


  1. ^ Pendergast, Tom (2000). Creating the modern man: American magazines and consumer culture, 1900–1950. Columbia, Mo.: Univ. of Missouri Press. p. 10. ISBN 9780826212801. 
  2. ^ Swansburg, John (September 29, 2014). "The Self-Made Man: The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth". Slate. 


  • Cawelti, John G. (1988). Apostles of the self-made man. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226098708. 
  • Wyllie, Irvin G. (1966). The self-made man in America: the myth of rags to riches. Free Press.

See also[edit]