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.

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Entry from April 15, 2018
“Adversity introduces a man to himself”

"Adversity introduces a man to himself” is a saying that has been printed on many images. The saying has frequently been credited to German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein (1879-1955) in the 2000, but there is no evidence that Einstein ever said it.

“A LITERARY life, like adversity, introduces a man to strange and opposite acquaintance” was printed in an 1818 book. “Adversity Is Like (...) A mirror which reveals to every man his strengths and weaknesses” was printed in a 1929 newspaper.

“‘Adversity introduces a man to himself.’—Anonymous” was printed in several newspapers on January 1, 1946. Authorship is unknown.


HathiTrust Digital Library
The sexagenarian; or, the Recollections of a Literary Life
Second Edition, Volume Two

By William Beloe, William
London, UK: F. C. and J. Rivington
1818
Pg. 15:
A LITERARY life, like adversity, introduces a man to strange and opposite acquaintance.

23 October 1895, Troy (AL) Messenger, “Educational Column” by Edgar M. Wright, pg. 4, col. 2:
Practical education introduces a man to himself, and then to humanity.

14 December 1929, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Sentence Sermons,” pg. 6, col. 2:
Adversity Is Like—
. A fatal illness to some men.
. A tonic to men of courage.
. A storm to threaten the fear-full man.
. A tide to sweep the determined man to victory.
. A mirror which reveals to every man his strengths and weaknesses.
. A challenge to some and like the tolling of a bell to others.
. A Judgment Day to every man revealing his need of a God.

Google Books
The Conductor and Brakeman
Volumes 62-63
1945
Pg. 168:
Adversity introduces a man to himself. — ANONYMOUS

1 January 1946, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Why Grow Old?” by Josephine Lowman, pg. 3, col. 2:
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.”—Anonymous.

11 September 1960, Boston (MA) Sunday Advertiser, “The Cheering Section” conducted by Bruce Patterson, Pictorial Review, pg. 9, col. 2:
“Pa, is it true that adversity introduces a man to himself?”
“Yeah, and prosperity introduces him to everybody.”
Westlake Bugle

Google Books
The Successful Toastmaster:
A Treasure Chest of Introductions, Epigrams, Humor, and Quotations

By Herbert Victor Prochnow
New York, NY: Harper & Row
1966
Pg. 404:
Adversity introduces a man to himself. — Anonymous

19 April 1970, New York (NY) Times, “Nixon, in Hawaii, Joins (Apollo 13—ed.) Astronauts and Honors Them: Presents Medal of Freedom to Apollo Crew on Arrival From Fete in Houston” by Robert B. Semple, Jr., pg. 1, col. 8:
“Greatness comes not simply in triumph but in adversity,” the President (Richard Nixon—ed.) said. “It has been said that adversity introduces a man to himself.”

Google Books
The Complete Art of Public Speaking
By Jacob Morton Braude
New York, NY: Bantam Books
1970
Pg. 27:
Adversity introduces a man to himself.

Twitter
Jeremy Johnston
@JeremyJohnston
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” - Albert Einstein
4:33 PM - 21 Oct 2009

Google Books
Little Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs
Edited by Elizabeth Knowles
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2016
Pg. ?:
Adversity introduces a man to himself.
modern saying, implying that experiencing difficult circumstances leads to self-knowledge.

Quora
Did Einstein really say “Adversity introduces a man to himself”? If so, where and when did he say this?
Jan Layton, I have studied Einstein since 1980.
Answered Oct 1, 2017 · Author has 3.2k answers and 1.2m answer views
Albert Einstein is credited with the quote, “Adversity introduces a man to himself.” What he meant was, Until you have faced adversity, you don’t know what your actions, reactions and behaviors will be.

He did not say this at the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony on December 10th, 1922. He did not attend the ceremony because he was too remote from Stockholm. He wasn’t presented his Nobel Prize until July, 11th, 1923 in Gothenburg and this quote was not included in his acceptance speech.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Sunday, April 15, 2018 • Permalink