Born in 1875, he began building his retail business at the age of 27. Through hard work, courage, and commitment, he became massively successful, where, by age 46, he owned several properties including a 120,000 acre estate in Florida.
His business expanded across the country with multiple locations and increasing influence. Then in 1929, the stock market crashed, and he lost $40 million and was left $7 million in debt. For 2 long years he struggled, a failure by outward appearances, trying to put his life back together.
He reached bottom, finally checking himself into the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan to treat his despair.
BUT God, in his mercy touched the heart of this man, and he was saved from absolute hopelessness at 56. Turning his eyes toward Christ, his hope was renewed, and his vision for the future was reinvigorated.
He lived another 39 years and saw his fortune rebuilt beyond his wildest imagination, as he continued to work actively in his business till the end of his life at 95. An powerful leader and doer, he once said, “The men who have furnished me with my greatest inspiration have not been men of wealth, but men of deeds.”
He gave away much of his personal wealth, but by the time he died, his company had reached annual revenues of $5 billion. James Cash Penney was a success because he was not consumed by his past, but he set his eyes on a future, full of potential and pressed on.