George Shinn


Born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, George’s father died when he was eight years old—he and his mother lost everything. Though he grew up poor, he is always quick to point out just how rich he really was. “My mother and I survived on her hard work and some help from Uncle Sam and others. I was one of the kids who ate at school because I got the free lunches. But she made up for what we lacked in worldly possessions by giving me the gift belief. Her faith was so strong she taught me ever day to believe in God and believe in myself. When you have that deep in your heart—you have everything you need in life.”

George graduated at the bottom of his high school class and struggled with his first jobs in a carwash, a bakery, and a textile mill. But he never stopped believing. He heard about Evans Business College, a small school in Concord, North Carolina, and signed up to improve his chances for success. He not only graduated but ended up owning the school—and created the largest network of business schools in the United States. He was presented the Horatio Alger Award for his accomplishments as a young entrepreneur.

He didn’t stop there but continued to build numerous other companies in his illustrious business career, culminating when against all odds, he brought the first major professional sports franchise to the Carolinas in 1987 as the founding owner of the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. He moved the franchise to New Orleans and sold it in 2011.

GeorgeShinnFrom the beginning of his career, George has been a firm believer in the principle of “paying it forward.” In 1973 he took the bold step of creating the George Shinn Foundation to help people in need and build the Kingdom of God. More than forty years later, the foundation is true to that mission, building and sponsoring a clinic in Haiti, developing a retreat center for ministers, and funding numerous other ministries, events, and scholarships.

George has authored a number of bestselling books, including The Miracle of Motivation, The American Dream Still Works, and, of course, You Gotta Believe! In 2015 his newest book, All Things Are Possible, will hit the marketplace.

George continues to speak at churches and business meetings, and dedicates his time and finances to his foundation. George is the president of the George Shinn Foundation and resides in Franklin, Tennessee.