In 1889, Rudyard Kipling - an author won the Literature Nobel Prize in 1907 received the following rejection letter from the San Francisco Examiner. "I'm sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just don't know how to use the English language.”
Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He did not become Prime Minister of England until he was 62, and then only after a lifetime of defeats and setbacks. His greatest contributions came when he was a "senior citizen.”
Albert Einstein did not speak until he was four years old and didn't read until he was seven. His teacher described him as "mentally slow, unsociable and adrift forever in his foolish dreams." He was expelled and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.
Louis Pasteur was only a mediocre pupil in undergraduate studies and ranked 15th out of 22 in chemistry.
General Douglas MacArthur was turned down for admission to West Point not once but twice. But he tried a third time, was accepted and marched into the history books.
In 1944, Emmeline Snively, director of the Blue Book Modeling Agency, told modeling hopeful Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe),"You'd better learn secretarial work or else get married.”
While turning down the British rock group called The Beatles, one executive of Decca Recording Company said, "We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out.”
In 1954, Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after one performance. He told Presley, "You ain't goin' nowhere... son. You ought to go back to drivin' a truck.”
When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, it did not ring off the hook with calls from potential backers. President Rutherford Hayes said, "That's an amazing invention, but who would ever want to use one of them?”
When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2,000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, "I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2,000-step process.”
After years of progressive hearing loss, by age 46 German composer Ludwig van Beethoven had become completely deaf. Nevertheless, he wrote his greatest music - including five symphonies - during his later years.
Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
- Henry Ford