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 forthcoming—B.P. (12/10)
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Entry from May 03, 2017
“My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil”

"My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil” is a saying that has been printed on many images. Origin is uncertain.

“How to get rich farming—rise early, work late, strike oil” was published in a syndicated newspaper column, “Office Cat” by Junius, on January 29, 1953. “Ed Wynn gave Mike Connolly his recipe for successful farming: ‘Rise early, work late, strike oil’” was published in Earl Wilson’s syndicated entertainment column on September 24, 1954. Ed Wynn (1886-1966) was an American actor and comedian.

The saying is usually stripped of the “farming” part and is credited to American industrialist J. Paul Getty (1892-1976). “J. Paul Getty’s formula for success: ‘Rise early, work late—and strike oil’” was printed in a 1971 newspaper. Getty did not originate the saying.


29 January 1953, Sheboygan (WI) Press, “Office Cat” by Junius, pg. 30, col. 3:
How to get rich farming—rise early, work late, strike oil.

24 April 1953, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “In the Wake of the News” by Arch Ward, pt. 3, pg. 1, col. 2:
Never Fails
My Uncle Elmer claims the best way to get rich farming is to rise early, work late, and strike oil.—Ray Wencil.

24 September 1954, Columbus (OH) Dispatch, “Ohioan on Broadway” by Earl Wilson, pg. 1B, col. 6:
ED WYNN GAVE MIKE Connolly his recipe for successful farming: “Rise early, work late, strike oil.”

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
29 October 1954, The News-Messenger (Hamlet, NC), “So This Is New York” by North Callaman, pg. 2, col. 3:
Ed Wynn’s formula for success: “Rise early, work late and strike oil.”

21 September 1971, Indianapolis (IN) Star, “Now See Here!” by Bert Bacharach, pg. 15, col. 4:
J. PAUL GETTY’S formula for success: “Rise early, work late—and strike oil.”

Google Books
Nothing but Winners:
Over 6,000 one-liners, alphabetized and categorized for easy reference

By Pat Williams and Ken Hussar
Wilmington, DE: TriMark Pub. Co.
1984
Pg. 30:
John Paul Getty’s advice for becoming rich and powerful: “Rise early, work late, and strike oil.”

Google Books
Book of Business Quotations
Edited by Bill Ridgers
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons
2012
Pg. 167:
Rise early, work late, strike oil. Jean Paul Getty, oil magnate (1892–1976), As I See It (1976)

Twitter
EdgeTheory‏
@EdgeTheory
My formula for success is rise early, work late and strike oil. –JP Getty
12:21 AM - 3 May 2017

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, May 03, 2017 • Permalink