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:
Thankscaking (Thanksgiving + cake) (11/25)
“If it burns, it earns” (11/25)
Two Left Feet (clumsy at dancing) (11/25)
“Studying—notice how they conveniently put ‘dying’ at the end of this word” (11/24)
“The only person telling you the truth in politics is the one who says he is not voting for you” (11/24)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 24, 2012
“Nothing recedes like success”

“Nothing succeeds like success” is a French proverb from the 19th century. “Nothing recedes like success”—that is, nothing goes away faster than success—is a jocular variation that has been cited in print in 1904 and 1905 and was possibly coined by the New York City humor magazine Life.

Newspaper columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) has been credited with the one-line saying; he wrote it in 1931, but the saying existed before Winchell became a columnist. Ray Kroc (1902-1984), the business executive who popularized McDonald’s fast food restaurants, wrote in Grinding It Out: The Making Of McDonald’s (1977):

“We have a slogan posted on the walls around McDonald’s headquarters that says, ‘Nothing recedes like success. Don’t let it happen to us or you.’”


25 November 1904, Semi Weekly Waterloo Courier (Waterloo, IA), “Pert Paragraphs,” pg. 6, col. 1:
Nothing recedes like ex-success.

8 July 1905, The Post-Standard (Syracuse, NY), pg. 4, col. 4:
Seeming So, Anyhow.
Life.
Nothing recedes like success.

Google Books
December 1912, The Smart Set, “Stray Shots” by Harold Susman, pg. 102:
Nothing recedes like success.

HathiTrust Digital Library
2 December 1915, Life magazine, “Success,” pg. 1083, col. 2:
Nothing recedes like success.

Chronicling America
30 November 1921, The Evening World (New York, NY), pg. 24, col. 8:
“Nothing recedes like success,” moralizes Aesop’s Film Fables.

Google News Archive
6 August 1931, Rochester Evening Journal and The Post Express (Rochester, NY), “Walter Winchell on Broadway,” pg. 11, col. 3:
Portrait of a Man Talking to Himself
(...)
But when one has the chance to make coin it is wise to save it...Nothing recedes like success.

27 February 1978, New York (NY) Times, “Stage: Opening Of ‘Deathtrap’; Five-Member Cast‎” by Richard Eder, pg. C15:
There are some amusing lines, particularly at the beginning. Lamenting his dead-end career after an initial hit, Mr. Wood reflects: “Nothing recedes like success.”

Google Books
Grinding It Out:
The Making Of McDonald’s

By Ray Kroc
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
1987, ©1977
Pg. 166:
We have a slogan posted on the walls around McDonald’s headquarters that says, “Nothing recedes like success. Don’t let it happen to us or you.” I wasn’t about to let it happen to me.

The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
PRUDEN: Let’s have a little perspective on the election, please
By Wesley Pruden
Friday, November 9, 2012
(...)
The game is still on. Conservatives have the persuasive case to make, but invective, insult, rant and rave won’t do it. Reasoned argument will. This goes for Democrats, too. They should remember the infallible Pruden Principle: Nothing recedes like success. History proves it.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Saturday, November 24, 2012 • Permalink