Positive Thinking: The Norman Vincent Peale Story

Network: Public Broadcasting


  • Telly, First Place
  • USA Film Festival: Best Documentary Biography, Third Place

A co-production with Duncan Entertainment

From a chance encounter between producer David Crouse and Dr. Peale a friendship blossomed and the result? Dr. Peale consented to a series of interviews that led to the first in depth documentary ever produced on his remarkable life. Dr. Peale’s storied life spanned nine decades, and his motivational speaking and teaching influenced millions of lives.  Dr. Peale has the unique and remarkable distinction of meeting or knowing every U.S. president of the 20th century - from Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton.  Sixty years after he penned the phenomenal best seller, The Power of Positive Thinking, his positive self-help philosophy coupled with a grounded and vibrant faith continues to have tremendous impact today - from sports, to health, to business, to one’s personal life.

The producers made television history by interviewing five former U.S. Presidents for a single program, a television first.  Interviewed were Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush.  President Reagan taped the introduction to the documentary and the remaining four added personal commentary on the influence Peale had in their life and his lasting legacy. 

Dr. Peale and his wife, Ruth, opened up their extensive archives to the film producers.  The resulting documentary is the most in depth look at Peale’s life ever produced and includes interviews with UCLA Basketball Coach John Wooden, motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, LSU Basketball Coach Dale Brown, President Kennedy speech writer Ted Sorenson, religious activist William Sloane Coffin, among others. 

Running time: 56 minutes