TRIVIAL PURSUITS: From Where Did ‘Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much’ Come?

There’s a quote—“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much”—that has been attributed to a few sources.

The quote has spawned wall hangings and other objects with the phrase “Live Well, Laugh Often and Love Much.” But, from where did the phrase actually come?

Bessie Anderson Stanley of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1905 participated in a contest for which people were asked to answer the question, “What constitutes success?” She won a $250 prize for her response.

It was:

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”
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