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Joseph Samuel Gerard, better known as Joe Girard, (born November 1, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan) is an American salesman. He is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's greatest salesman for twelve consecutive years, selling 13,001 cars at a Chevrolet dealership between 1963 and 1978.
Girard worked from childhood on. A high school dropout, he started working as a shoeshine boy, then he worked as a newsboy for the Detroit Free Press at the age of nine, and then as a dishwasher, delivery boy, stove assembler, and home building contractor. In 1963, the then thirty-five-year-old walked into a Detroit car dealership and begged a skeptical manager for a job as a salesman. He sold a car on his first day and, by the second month, was so good, some of the other salesmen complained and got him fired. His next job was at Merollis Chevrolet in Eastpointe, Michigan, which he held until his retirement in 1977. There, he set consecutive sales records over a fifteen-year period.
One of America's most sought-after speakers, Joe Girard appears before such companies as General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, and Kmart.
Mr. Girard's awards include The Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement, and he has been nominated for the Horatio Alger Award by the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and the late Lowell Thomas.
Joe Girard now resides in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.