Jack Canfield was an inner-city school teacher before he became a best-selling author. Beginning in 1967, he taught high school in Massachusetts and the Midwest before returning to graduate school for a degree in psychology. His experiences with students who badly needed an increase of self-esteem led to his concept for a book of motivational stories. The manuscript for CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL (co-written with a friend, Mark Victor Hansen) was rejected by 123 publishers until the authors finally found a small press that would take a chance. The rest is self-help history: as of 2003, over 80 million copies had been sold, and the book had generated innumerable spinoffs. Canfield, who admits that he got a C in his college composition course, has written several other books, including 100 WAYS TO ENHANCE SELF-CONCEPT IN THE CLASSROOM. He is also a therapist who practiced for many years in Amherst, Massachusetts, but gradually his job description evolved into a more public role, and he became a heavily-booked speaker on self-esteem and recovery issues. He is also the founder of Self-Esteem Seminars, located in Santa Barbara, California.