No. 851



One morning several days ago, the phone rang at our house and there was a familiar voice on the other end of the line. It belonged to Coach Dale Brown, former head men’s basketball coach at Louisiana State University. Dale was calling in response to an e-mail I had sent him a few days before about our Bookcase for Every Child project. The e-mail contained an article I had written titled “One Kid At A Time” that not only gives an overview of the project but what we are doing, now in 10 communities, to provide children in low-income families with a personalized bookcase and some quality children’s books.
It was obvious from the beginning of our conversation that my article had hit a nerve with him, because he asked for permission to share it with others. He pointed out that none of our nation’s political candidates are talking about illiteracy and how it is impacting our country. He went on to tell me about the work he has done in the past at Angola Prison in Louisiana. Angola is the largest maximum-security prison in the United States and one of the toughest prisons in America in terms of the level of offenders they house. He said, “Do you know what the average grade level of inmates in this prison happens to be?” My answer was the 8th grade, which is the case in most other prisons I have read about. He said, “How about the 5th grade.”
Dale then told me about some of the work he has done with inmates in this maximum-security prison, a fact I already knew from viewing a film clip and reading some of his literature. The true-life example I have just shared is what really characterizes Coach Dale Brown after he retired from active coaching. After getting to know him over the past several months, he sends me several e-mails each week. The thing I most admire about him is that, after retirement, he did not quit serving and giving of himself to help others. His basketball legacy at LSU, head coach from 1972 to 1997, is assured as he has more wins (448) in the SEC than anyone else except Adolph Rupp of Kentucky.
However, this is not the reason I want to pay tribute to this man who has helped and inspired thousands of people over the years. I want to pay tribute to THE MAN, Dale Brown, who is known as “The Master Motivator” and who is also a true patriot. Just recently I received a copy of his new book “Getting Over the Four Hurdles of Life.” He signed it as follows: “Dear Jim: Please never let up on your quest to see all of our children educated and successful. I admire your efforts and wish you the very best.” Your Friend, Dale Brown.
Here are Dale’s four hurdles: “The First Hurdle: I can’t/You can’t”. “The Second Hurdle: Past Failures/ Fear of Failure”. “The Third Hurdle: Handicaps”. “The Fourth Hurdle: Lack of Self Knowledge.” If you can appreciate the fact there are literally hundreds of successful people in our country today who were told by someone in their life, “give up, change course, you will never amount to anything” but each case they were proven wrong. You will recognize most of the following names: Shaquille O’Neal, who wrote the introduction, Oprah Winfrey, Rudy Ruettiger, Albert Einstein, Elvis Presley, Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, Paul Anderson and Steven Spielberg are just some of those Dale tells about in his latest book. The book is a great read with lots of practical, useful ideas that will help any person to use more of their latent God-given talents and abilities.
I am honored to pay tribute to THE MAN, Dale Brown. His book can be ordered through
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)