Oops! Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has a misattributed ‘Ralph Waldo Emerson’ quote on his refrigerator

Some of us say affirmations in the mirror, others have a conversation with a friend when in need of support. But some people rely on other sources of wisdom in everyday life.

Some of us say affirmations in the mirror, others have a conversation with a friend when in need of support. But some people rely on other sources of wisdom in everyday life — even if they don’t know its origin.

Wait, so you mean Jeff Bezos also sticks things on his refrigerator, too? Apparently, yes.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded,” the quote reads.


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Bezos attributes the quote to Ralph Waldo Emerson, but this has been debunked many times. And although the exact origins have still not been settled, the prevailing thought is that it is derived from a 1904 poem by Bessie Anderson Stanley.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.