Harvey Mackay

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Harvey Mackay (born 1932 in Saint Paul, Minnesota) is a businessman and columnist. Mackay is perhaps best known as the author of five business bestsellers, including Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive), Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt and Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty. He is a nationally syndicated columnist, and one of America's most popular business speakers. He is also founder, Chairman and CEO of Mackay Envelope Corporation, whose story he tells in anecdotes sprinkled throughout his books.[1]


Harvey Mackay is the author of New York Times bestsellers Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt'." His books have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. His newest book Use Your Head To Get Your Foot In The Door: Job Search Secrets No One Else Will Tell You, was released on February 18, 2010. When Larry King interviewed Harvey in late February 2010, Harvey said, "I really believe this is the most important book right now." The book is already in its fourth printing as of March 1, 2010. It immediately climbed the bestseller list at Amazon.com and hit #1 in four categories: Job Hunting, Counseling, Vocational Guidance and Education. It can also be found on the Wall Street Journal Business Bestseller list.

Mackay writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column and is a motivational speaker. He is also the founder and chairman of Mackay Mitchell Envelope Company. He has been married to Carol Ann for forty-nine years. They have three children and nine grandchildren.



Harvey Mackay was born in 1932 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, to Jack and Myrtle Mackay. His dad had gone to high school but always helped bring in money to the family from the age of eight. In high school, Jack Mackay got a job working for a newspaper, and after he graduated he continued there working for the Associated Press – eventually rising to become an AP correspondent for 35 years. His mother was born in the small town of Virginia, Minnesota, on the Iron Range. Her parents – like her future husband’s parents – were all immigrants to this country. She became a school- teacher and after her marriage continued to substitute teach. She died when Harvey was in college.


Mackay graduated Central High School in Saint Paul in 1950. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1954 as a history major and worked during his four years of college as a salesman at a downtown Saint Paul men’s clothing store. Mackay continued his education in the executive program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


Harvey is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. His books have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 35 languages and distributed in 80 countries. He is a nationally syndicated columnist for United Feature Syndicate, whose weekly business article appears in 52 newspapers around the country. His books and columns are used in more than 200 universities and can be found in virtually every library in the United States. Harvey has counseled and mentored more than 500 students and young adults. He’s served on more than 20 nonprofit boards that are committed to help others and communities. He is a past president of many of these organizations.

Harvey is an accomplished business speaker; he has addressed students at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton School of Business, Notre Dame, and Michigan. He is a member of the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame, and Toastmasters International named him as the top speaker on Commerce and Industry in 1993.[2]

Mackay was also significantly involved in organizing a scheme of business leaders in the Twin Cities in 1984 to block Clark Griffith's efforts to sell the Minnesota Twins to outside investors who would move the team from the area.[3]



  1. ^ Harvey Mackay - "Mr. Make Things Happen"
  2. ^ Frey, Suzanne (December 1993). "Meet the Five Outstanding Speakers of 1993". Toastmaster Magazine. p. 17. 
  3. ^ Novak, Jay. "Harvey at Bat." Twin Cities Business Magazine, March 2010, pg. 10.

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