being raised in a broken home, separated from his twin brother while
he went to live and work on his grandparents’ farm, going into
World War Two as a paratrooper and discovering his brother had been
killed by friendly fire, Ralph K. Manley believes and teaches others
that a positive attitude and a lot of hard work will bring success
For twenty years he taught business, real estate, and finance at
Missouri State University. For over fifty years he has been a licensed
building contractor, land developer, licensed real estate broker,
investor, financier, farm owner/manager, and corporate executive.
He built more than 1500 homes and developed residential subdivisions
totaling over 2,000 lots in the Springfield, Missouri area.
Now in his eighties, Ralph is a widely-sought-after motivational speaker with
over 150 engagements annually. He serves on the Springfield City Council and
is Mayor Pro-Tem, officiating at most of the new business ribbon cuttings in
the area. He travels the world representing WWII veterans, parachutes from airplanes,
and continues to own and manage over 100 real estate properties.
Anyone who has met Ralph K. Manley recognizes him as an enthusiastic and inspiring
sage who is always “raring to go. ”
He tells others: “have trust and faith in yourself, believe in, encourage,
help, and teach other people, and then together you can accomplish many, many
things. In my case, it was homes for people who want and need homes.”
It was shortly after midnight and all hell had broken loose in
what looked like the biggest Fourth of July celebration you could
imagine. There were tracers and the Germans shot up parachute flares.
My plane took a lot of hits and some of the people in the plane
were hit and fell to the floor. We were already hooked up to the
static line ready to jump as the bullets were flying. Some had
fallen to the floor and some had gotten sick. The floor was slick
with blood and vomit. When it was time to jump, some of the soldiers
didn’t get out and the plane went on to crash. I was number
three out the door.
Being a paratrooper is risky, but those are the types that make
America great, those who are willing to take the risk. Business
people are risk takers, paratroopers are risk takers. Thank goodness
for people just like them. They are the type who will keep America
going great in future generations. It’s the risk takers that
make the world go ’round.
The death and destruction that go with war make deep impressions
on a person. They made me appreciate life and know the importance
of each human. I was determined to keep it from happening again,
and this brought about a complete change in my attitude.
It’s the battlefront that changed my life forever. I’m
not bitter about life. It made me better about life because I have
a better understanding of humans and of life itself. I don’t
gripe, I don’t bitch, I don’t complain. Because life
can have a number of disappointments, I look only for the good
things in everything.
All my days are good.
Some are better than others.
RALPH K. MANLEY
BIRCH CREEK PUBLISHING Marshfield, MO ISBN 09760004-1-5