A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Running is a mental sport and we are all insane” (4/28)
“Monday must be a man. It comes too quickly” (4/28)
“Monday is the perfect day to correct last week’s mistakes” (4/28)
“There’s no more difficult transition than Sunday to Monday” (4/28)
“What do you call a Mexican drowning in mayonnaise?"/"Sinko de Mayo.” (4/28)
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Entry from June 09, 2015
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him”

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him” is a popular saying of uncertain authorship. “The Successful Man Can Lay a Firm Foundation of Bricks Others Have Thrown at Him” was a headline in the Milwaukee (WI) Journal in 1961.

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him” was credited to American newscaster David Brinkley (1920-2003) in 1969 and also in 1972. Brinkley is frequently credited, but it’s not known if he had used the saying by 1961.


Google News Archive
2 September 1961, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, GreenSheet, pg. 1 banner:
The Successful Man Can Lay a Firm Foundation of Bricks Others Have Thrown at Him

30 October 1969, New Castle (PA) News, “Firefighter speaks to educators,” pg. 11, cols. 3-4:
H. N. Magoun, president of local 160 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, spoke on arbitration procedures at a meeting of the New Castle Area Education Association this week.

He said a “successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw” and that anytime a public employe seeks a salary increase, “bricks are not only by the taxpayer and the employer but also at times by some of the news media in the form of unfavorable news coverage.

Google News Archive
21 November 1969, Cape Girardeau (MO) Bulletin, pg. 6, col. 3:
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.
-- David Brinkley

29 January 1970, The Weekly Tribune (Moulton, IA), “Ed. Notes,” pg. 2, col. 1:
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.

19 February 1970, The Daily Herald (Biloxi, MS), “Take It From Me” by Bill Walker, pg. 13, col. 7 ad:
A successful man: One who builds a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at him.
(Gulf Brokerage Company.—ed.)

11 July 1970, Wichita (KS) Eagle and Beacon,"Home Town News” by Frank Good, pg. 12B, col. 3:
LAST BLAST: A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.
(From E. E. Lewis, 228 N. Ash)

2 September 1970, Springfield (MA) Union, “Sunny Side Up” by Sol Marguiles, pg. 35, col. 1:
A successful man can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at him.

Google Books
The American Legion Magazine
Volumes 90-91
1971
Pg. 6:
SUCCESS IN D.C.
“To be successful in Washington, you have to be able to lay a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at you.”
William M. Magruder. U.S. Dir. of SST Development

22 March 1972, Frederick (MD) Post, pg. 1, right masthead:
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others throw at him.”
David Brinkley

Google News Archive
29 August 1988, The Argus_Press (Owosso, MI), “Dear Abby” by Abigail Van Buren, pg. 8, cols. 5-6:
DEAR ABBY: I liked your answer to “56 and Still Learning” on how to measure success. I would like to offer still another description of success:

“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”
SHERRI MELSBY

Google Books
14,000 Quips & Quotes:
For Speakers, Writers, Editors, Preachers, and Teachers

By E. C. McKenzie
Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House
1990, ©1980
Pg. 483:
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him.

Google Books
The Complete Book of Zingers
By Croft M. Pentz
Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers
1990
Pg. 299:
A successful man is the one who lays a foundation for his life with the bricks others have thrown at him.

Google Books
Competitive Leadership:
Twelve Principles for Success

By Brian Billick and James A. Peterson
Chicago, IL: Triumph Books
2001
Pg. 204:
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” —David Brinkley, television journalist

Google News
Archive

13 May 2009, The Mirror (Tonganoxie, KS), pg. 6, right masthead:
QUOTEWORTHY
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with thebricks others have thrown at him.”
David Brinkley

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Tuesday, June 09, 2015 • Permalink