Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, passed away today at a hospital in Texas. The 86 year-old had pneumonia.

Ziglar was known for his “Success Rallies,” “Born to Win” seminars, more than 30 self-help books and countless audio tapes.  He was known for his homespun advice and sayings like, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”

He led corporate retreats and conferences for companies like IBM and J.C. Penney.

Ziglar started his fulltime career in motivational speaking when he was in his 40s. His first book, "See You at the Top," was published in 1975, when he was 49.

Zig and his wife Jean ("the red head") celebrated their 66th anniversary last Monday. (

Ziglar was a World War II veteran who grew up in Yazoo City, Miss., and then went to work in sales for a series of companies, where his interest in motivational speaking grew, according to his Plano-based company's website.

His book, "Confessions of a Grieving Christian," was written after the 1995 death of his oldest daughter, Suzan, at the age of 46.

After a 2007 fall down a flight of stairs left him with a brain injury, Ziglar, along with another daughter, Julie Ziglar Norman, wrote "Embrace the Struggle," a book that described how his life changed after the injury.

In addition to his daughter, Ziglar is survived by his wife Jean, with whom he celebrated 66 years of marriage on Monday; his son, Tom Ziglar; and daughter Cindy Oates.