J. Berg Esenwein

J. Berg Esenwein
J. Berg Esenwein

J. Berg Esenwein was a distinguished American writer, editor, and lecturer. He is the author of self-improvement books like How to Attract and Hold an Audience and co-author of The Art of Public speaking with Dale Carnegie. He is also known for contributions to Library of the World’s Best Literature. It is not surprising, therefore, that he had such great success. His name transcends generations because of the brilliance of his writings and story writing skills.

Esenwein’s Life

Joseph Berg Esenwein was born on May 16, 1867, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Augustus and Catherine Esenwein. Throughout his childhood, he was always fascinated by books and could be seen reading several of these. This reading attitude and the desire always to learn something new, helped shape him into the respected writer and editor we know today. In one way, we could conclude that Esenwein’s early life played a central role in influencing his future. And indeed, it did so in a positive manner.

J. Berg Esenwein was a family man. He married Caroline Miller in 1889 and had three children, namely: J. Harold Esenwein, Ruth Esenwein, and Carl Esenwein. The two never divorced. Besides upholding the virtues of family, he was also a profoundly religious man. He was a Minister and even published The earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness hymn. There are so many other hymns under his name which testify his strong belief in God.


The renowned author attended numerous colleges and schools. These included: Millersville Normal School, Albright College, Richmond College, Lafayette College, and the University of Omaha. The family’s change of residences triggered shifts from one college to another was. Even though it may have taken a toll on him, the shifts also came handy in helping him interact with people of diverse backgrounds, something that helped him in his pastoral work.

During his time at Albright College, he was elected the school’s president from 1895 – 1896. In 1897, he became the educational director of the YMCA at Washington Heights in New York City. This shows how much J. Berg Esenwein valued leadership and how easy it was for him to get others to trust him with leadership positions.


Esenwein had one of the most diverse career opportunities. He stared with almost a year of foreign travel before coming back as a professor of English at Pennsylvania Military College, in Chester, a position he held until 1903 when he quit taking a manager position at the Book lovers’ Magazine. Due to his impressive track record, he swiftly moved to Lippincott’s Magazine as its editor and manager. He stayed in the position until 1914 when he chose to resign and launched a private course on Writing the short story. Studying the short story and children’s stories was quite a trend back then. He again went back to the corporate sector in 1915 as editor of The Writer’s Monthly.

Besides How to Attract and Hold an Audience and The Art of Public Speaking, his other notable published works include Songs for Reapers, Children Stories and How to Tell Them, Lessons in the Short Story, and Feathers for Shafts. He is also widely known for study methods for individuals in addition to sixteen short story classics.

J. Berg Esenwein died on November 1, 1946, at the age of 79. He was buried in Mount Lebanon Cemetery leaving behind works that continue to impact generations.



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