James Allen was born in Leicester, England in 1864. Because of family difficulties following his father's death, he had to leave school when he was fifteen. He worked for several British manufacturers until 1902, when he decided to write full-time. After he finished his first book, From Poverty to Power, he moved to Ilfracombe, on England's southwest coast, and lived there until his death in 1912. He wrote nineteen books in all. As You Think is his acknowledged masterpiece.