Samuel Smiles (1812-1904), was a Scottish author and reformer. In 1838, he was invited to become the editor for the Leeds Times. In 1845, he left the Leeds Times and became secretary to the Leeds and Thirsk Railway and then, nine years later, the South Eastern Railway. In 1866, he left this position to be president of the National Provident Institution. As editor of the Leeds Times, he advocated radical causes ranging from women's suffrage to free trade to parliamentary reform. He is best known today as the writer of books extolling virtues of self help, and biographies lauding the achievements of "heroic" engineers. His self-help books have been citied as influential on the New Thought Movement in late 19th century America and England. His works include: Self- Help: With Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance (1859), Industrial Biography: Iron Workers and Tool Makers (1863), The Life of Thomas Telford (1867), Character (1871), Thrift (1875), Men of Invention and Industry (1874), Jasmin: Barber, Poet, Philanthropist (1891) and A Publisher and His Friends: Memoir and Correspondence of John Murray (1891).