The Millionaire Next Door

Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. 1944-2015

Thank you for your continued support of Dr. Stanley’s work over the years. Sadly, Dr. Stanley passed away on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Here is a link to the story. A number of requests have been made from individuals asking how they can commemorate Dr. Stanley’s life and work. For this purpose, donations may be made to the following:

The Salvation Army

Marietta Corps
202 Waterman Street
Marietta, GA 30060;

Terry College of Business,
Marketing Department

The University of Georgia
278 Brooks Hall
Athens, GA 30602
(checks may be made out to the University of Georgia Foundation, with Terry College Marketing Dept in memory of Thomas J. Stanley in the memo line);

or the charity of your choice.



41 thoughts on “Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. 1944-2015”

  1. I am so sorry and shocked to hear of Dr. Stanley’s sudden death in an auto accident. His work has been a foundation for my business marketing and education for my sons. My sympathies to his family and friends. His body of work will educate and inspire many for years to come.

  2. Rest in peace Mr. Stanley. Thank you for your time and energy devoted to exposing the truth behind American Millionaires. His family will be in my prayers!

  3. I’m a professional in my mid-30s who recently surpassed AAW status (1.3x as of the start of 2015) and am on track to become a PAW (2.0x) before I turn 40.

    Ten years ago, however, when my career was in its infancy, I was a profligate spender purchasing status artefacts in a vain attempt to emulate those around me as well as those on TV. My life was changed when my brother lent me his copy of A Millionaire Next Door (the audiobook read by the excellent Cotter Smith). The chapters “Frugal, Frugal, Frugal” and “Economic Outpatient Care” impacted me greatly, the stories of Mary and Lamar and Beth and her “Bozo” husband in particular. After that, I changed my spending habits, not through the budgeting method, but through the artificial economic environment of scarcity method which works better for me, and have made sure to spend only on things that are truly important to me: family, friends, and life experiences. It’s amazing how much less stressful life is when you live on such a small percentage of your earnings that you know you could go for years if you were let go from your job.

    I still listen to the audiobook once very six months to reinforce the mental discipline I’ve developed and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Thomas Stanley’s works have changed my life by showing me lifestyles that are truly worth emulating and I will forever be grateful to him. RIP Thomas Stanley.

  4. Tom Stanley will always be known to me as “Dr. Stanley.” He was the best professor I had at Georgia State University as I was earning my MBA in Marketing. He taught us many valuable lessons that I’m still using, and writing about today.

    I have long admired Dr. Stanley’s work. Recently I wrote a column about a key principle he taught us in class. If you were a student of his, or heard him tell this story, you will appreciate this:

    He was a great man who helped many people. He will be sorely missed.

  5. I was very sad to hear of Dr. Stanley’s passing. Dr. Stanley’s many books dramatically influenced my life for good. I believe he had more influence on me than any other personal finance writer. He also had a personal influence on my life with personal correspondence. I’m grateful for his work.

    I’ve recorded my tribute to him and to his work to honor his legacy:

    As you celebrate his life and memory this week, may your family be bound together with love and may God comfort your hearts with his presence.

    -Joshua Sheats

  6. I am so sorry to hear about his passing. I pray for the comfort of his family and friends during their time of loss. His books are still a great help to me, his work is very much appreciated.

  7. I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Dr. Stanley. I first read the Millionaire Next Door in 2002 or so at the age of 27. The book had a significant, positive impact on my lifestyle and helped me form a better appreciation for savings and thrift. Through the years I have recommended his books to many people and always looked forward to his new blog posts. I will certainly miss seeing updates to the site and hearing from someone I considered a guide and mentor even though we had never met.

    Thank you for your work Dr. Stanley, and God bless you.

  8. My condolences to the family of Dr. Stanley. I am very sad to hear about his passing. He wont ever know but he had a big impact on my life. He gave me goals at a time i had never had them. I thank him for it. Rest in peace Dr. Stanley.

  9. I am so sorry for our loss. I just discovered his book Millionaire Women Next Door yesterday, purchased it, and am constantly picking it up every chance I get. I was reading to my children this morning about Ann Lawson Hills, and last night about the depressing profits of antique and gift shops. I came online to learn more about Dr. Stanley, and we were all shocked to discover his untimely passing. Prayers go out to his friends and family. It will be an honor to continue reading his works and allowing his life to change ours. God Bless.

  10. “The Millionaire Next Door” changed my financial life forever. So much so that I call it my financial bible. Thanks to Dr. Stanley, I’m on my way to building true wealth. I am thankful for the work he did and very saddened to hear of his passing. I hope his family finds comfort in the fact that his work had such a positive influence on so many people and will continue to do so for decades to come.

  11. A blog comment cannot simply express how saddened I am to hear of Dr. Stanley.

    His impact on me, my family, my friends, and the countless others can only serve as an example of how one person along with a supporting and loving family can achieve such an amazing impact on society. His keen insights dispelled myth after myth, his examples paved the way for generations, his willingness to share and create a better world will be known for the ages.

    Many thanks Dr Stanley. I checked for your post every Tuesday for years now. I shall now think of you every Tuesday and how I might inspire just as you had.

    For Janet, Brad, and Sarah. Thank you for supporting him throughout the years. I’m certain you will find that his passing did not happen To you, but rather For you.

    In our prayers…

  12. I was stunned to hear of Dr. Stanley’s passing. He truly had an influence on my life. He has shaped my philosophy concerning how I view money. I really do feel a personal loss because I look forward to his latest blog every couple of weeks. Whenever I have found my discipline wavering I would always go back to hear his latest thoughts. I will miss that.

  13. A true inspiration in my financial life.

    I have read “The Millionaire Next Door” about 10 times … and counting.

    A very, very sad day.

    I wish his family true peace in life.


  14. My deepest condolences to the family of this wonderful man. I cannot begin to tell you what Dr. Stanley’s books and articles have meant to me. I bought The Millionaire Next Door the year it came out. That was my first introduction to Dr. Stanley’s work. Since that time I’ve purchased every book he’s written and all audiobooks. I have been applying everything that Dr. Stanley taught as diligently as I can for several years now. It’s the truth and it works! I’m infinitely farther along in my finances than I would have been had I not been blessed to read his work. I truly believe his work is a literal gift from God Almighty.

  15. I’m so incredibly sorry to hear that Dr. Stanley passed in a car accident. I wish I had the opportunity to meet him so I could tell him how much influence his academic work has had on me.

  16. Wow – What an amazing man. So many of us thought of him as a mentor and friend. Few people touch and lift the life’s of so many others – his circle of influence is measureless. What a huge footprint this man has left behind..!! My deepest sympathies to his family.

  17. Dr.Stanley mentored me in 1990. Where in 1992 included me in “Networking with The Affluent”. I thank God that he came into our lives. I will miss Tommy!!!!

    I will always remember you,

    Nelson Paramus

  18. I am deeply sorry to learn of this senseless auto accident that took the life of Dr. Stanley by a reckless driver. His sudden passing is tragic and I am certain he left without finishing many more brilliant works that had to engage this man of extreme financial intelligence.
    He will be greatly missed and I hope swift punishment arrives for the individual responsible for causing this terrible collision and the loss of his exceptional life. May God comfort his family.

  19. His books changed my life in a very real way. I read this blog on a regular basis. I am shocked. He will be deeply missed. Thank you for all of your work Mr. Stanley. You have made your mark.

  20. I am so sorry to hear of Dr Stanley’s passing. My daughter just told me – a indicator of his influence that the second generation of young women are aware of his work – she knows how much his work has influenced me as a woman entrepreneur here in the UK.

    My thoughts are with his family, he was a huge influence on me, and my ability to provide well for my family, in a manner acting with integrity.

    Thank you for his influence, his work, and my thoughts are with you, who were closest to him.

    Take good care of each other.


  21. Very sad to hear about Dr Stanley’s passing.

    Dr Stanley’s books made a difference in my financial life. Before I read his books, I would never have believed that it was possible for a person to accumulate wealth unless their family was already rich.

    My condolences to his family and the financial world.

    So thanks Dr. Stanley, on so many levels!

  22. So sad to hear the passing of Dr Stanley. I don’t know the guy but I consider him my mentor. I bought his book early year 2000 and have read them so many times and recommended them to friends. He is instrumental in my current financial independence and will ever be grateful for that blessing. You are salt of the earth and may the Almighty shine on you.I will say a prayer for you and your family.

  23. Dear Stanley family,

    My deepest condolences. You may not know me but I have been deeply impacted by your loved one. His books were just the sort of outline and encouragement needed during the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and my career. My favorite book was definitely The Millionaire Mind. I loved his amazing ability to find the best nuggets and make them stick in your mind forever. Who could forget the timeless advice from Billy Gilmore: “Me, me, me is dull, dull, dull.”

    I so wish I could have met Thomas in person. My stomach dropped when I came upon an article this evening about his passing.

    May you and yours be blessed for the gracious service he provided to this world. His work and influence will stand the test of time.

    Ken Burningham

  24. My deepest condolences to the Stanley family. I have studied many of Dr. Stanley’s books and have participated in several of his surveys. His passing is a tremendous loss to the “Blue Collar Millionaire” however his teaching will continue on!

  25. Dear Stanley Family,

    My deepest sympathies for your loss.

    I picked up these books only over the past six months. I am a self made mom worth several million dollars in my early 50’s who made her money through real estate in a very boring way. I have lived my life in the exact way explained in these books and have amassed a fortune. I live in a house that is less than 10% of my net worth. Drive a 2004 mini van that I paid cash for that now has 140K miles on it (going strong). I think you get the picture. I prefer that people don’t know what we have. Our big splurge in life has always been private Christian education for the kids. ‘teach them how to fish.’ The books hit home for me because I had these theories all along. Dr. Stanley was brilliant and insightful to do this research. When I read these books I felt like I struck gold. He had the data to back these theories up. It really changed my life to know that my theories about my doctor girlfriends spending every dime they make are true.

    I have read several articles since his passing stating that this work is not valid and has limited applicability in today’s world. I understand that he and his daughter were working on another book at the time that he was called home. I am looking forward to reading the new research and pray that the Lord gives her the strength that she needs to continue. I know that nothing has changed. The theories about ‘us’ millionaires next door remain as true today as they were in the 1990’s.

    Pressing on,

  26. My deepest condolences to Dr. Stanley’s family, friends, and associates. He made a positive and lasting difference!

    After hearing of Dr. Stanley’s death on the Dave Ramsey radio show today, I sent this to the Los Angeles Times:

    “The Los Angeles Times has sunk to a new low, publishing a hit piece on Dr. Thomas J. Stanley, author of the best-selling book The Millionaire Next Door, shortly after his death. Worse yet, you are dead wrong. There are numerous of us in the greatest country ever who are millionaires next door. I’m one, and I know many others. All over the country, we are there. None of us are royalty or born to a special caste. Most all of us are self-made millionaires, not inheritors. Most all of us make money doing real things, not speculating on stocks and such. Never before in history have so many common people had such great opportunity.

    I was born poor, with a rusty spoon in my mouth, not a silver one, and my father died when I was 12. My wife grew up and began working in a country occupied by the USSR. Yet, we are self-made millionaires next door, with a net worth in the top one percent.

    Like many, we own a small business. I started my consulting company with nothing but a commitment to quality and service, and initially had to struggle to balance eating with paying for things such a phone line for a FAX machine. Building my first computer meant no longer having to go to rent time on computers. Getting that first printer, and then that first copier, meant we could do all of our office work in our own offices. We had no clients to start, so we went out and found people who needed help and built a business.

    I was stupid with money when I was younger, yet am now as great a proponent as I can be of avoiding debt. My wife and I are debt free, owning our home and 15 income properties in seven states. Neither of us are show offs, but we’re not cheap. I drive an average of 2,000 business miles per month, so did not hesitate to buy a new loaded Jeep Grand Cherokee last year. However, even that was a thrifty purchase, as an equivalent Mercedes-Benz M-Class, designed at the same time and made with many of the same parts, costs 50% more than the Jeep. I have a hobby collecting and restoring radios, especially those from the 1930s, but avoid the expensive “collector” models. We travel to Europe every year, but coach. I almost always wear blue jeans to work, and often also wear a tool belt. Our other car is a Mercedes-Benz, but it is a 12 year old C230K hatchback which only cost $25,500. We do enjoy eating out, but as another former professor once asked at a meeting for real estate investors, what do you have the next day after an expensive meal? We mow our own yard, and I change the oil in my Jeep.

    Being wealthy and debt free also means being able to give. We have a list of charities and non-profit organizations to which we donate. One of our nieces who’s father died at age 38 recently graduated from a top business college, so we were happy to be able to surprise her with a trip to California. You can’t enjoy doing such thing when you’re poor.

    Despite the 100 year long effort by leftists to destroy the United States, this is still the land of opportunity, so it is also the land where millionaires next door are numerous. Get rid of the ball and chain of far too much government, and there will be dramatically more millionairess next door.”

  27. I am sure I can write for many followers of this blog.
    Sarah after things settle down in your life, we all hope that you will continue to write the update about millionaires and the new gilded age in America. Maybe you could work with William Danko, to receive input for the book.
    The sudden death of a father turns ones life up side down, inside out.
    It will take a year to work out a new life, to adjust to life with out your father, that you are comfortable with, time heals all wounds.
    We ask God to comfort you Sarah and your family.

  28. I have read and re-read the Millionaire Next Door, the Millionaire Mind and Networking the Affluent. Dr. Stanley will be missed!

  29. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Stanley speak to my training class at a brokerage firm. Although I left the brokerage industry his wisdom affected me greatly at the rip age of 23. Now 50 years old, I can proudly say I’m debt free and a multi-millionaire. I’m still trying to achieve the deca-millionaire before I retire. I can say without reservation my success was mainly due to changing my thinking at an early age due to Dr. Stanely’s presentation. He changed my life and my children’s lives. He will definitely one of the best thought leaders around wealth creation.

  30. Please accept my condolences in the untimely passing of Dr. Stanley. He and his books are a major reason why I am a prolific saver and investor, and I shall be eternally grateful.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

  31. Later on today, I will track down a six pack of Lowenbrau beer (his favorite) and hoist a cold one or two in honor of Dr. Thomas Stanley – a great educator and a fine gentleman. Dr. Stanley taught me that empathy still matters in the business world, and in order to become an “An Ace of Aces”, one must tend to the needs of your fellow man.
    Dr. Stanley made me a better person.

  32. My condolences to his family. I really enjoyed his books and they helped me to accumulate wealth. He was an outstanding author.

  33. My condolences to the bereaved family for the lost of such a great writer on wealth accumulation. His book “The Millionaire Next Door” had a great impact on my life.

  34. There is no other author as down to earth, funny, driven on a serious mission to save the masses from self financial ruins, who showed off his candor and research in such a fascinating and enjoyable way! I can not put his books down! In the last three months I have read all three of his Millionaire books! Now I am looking forward to his first two publications about Marketing and Selling to the affluent. He was an amazing author. I was just Googling him to find a video of him on Oprah and discovered that he was recently in a fatal car accident. Damn, so so sad! My heart goes out to his wife and children! He will be greatly missed and I hope his daughter continues his awesome work!!!!!

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