Jack graduated from the Linsly Military Institute in 1962. Canfield received an Bachelor of Arts in Chinese History from Harvard University in 1966. He received his Master of Education in 1973 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Canfield received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Santa Monica in 1981.
Canfield began his career in 1967 when he taught a year of high school in Chicago, Illinois. He worked at the Clinton Job Corps Center in Iowa and the W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation in Chicago. In 1976 Canfield co-authored "100 Ways to Enhance Self-Concept in the Classroom." He ran a residential Gestalt center called the New England Center for Personal and Organizational Development.
Canfield is the founder and CEO of The Canfield Training Group in Santa Barbara, California and founder of The Foundation for Self-Esteem in Culver City, California. Canfield hosts a radio program and writes a globally syndicated newspaper column. In 2006 Canfield was featured in a self-development film called "The Secret." In 2005 Canfield co-authored "The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be." He is a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council.
Jack is a Democrat.
"If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life. This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings—everything! This is not easy."
“Don't worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.”
“And so I wait. I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to me feet once again - so that I can start a new path, my own path, the one that will make me whole again.”
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
Jack married Judith Ohlbaum in 1971, but they divorced in 1976. Then he married Georgia Lee Noble. He divorced in 1999 and married for a third time in 2001. He is the father of three children from the first marriage, Oran David, Kyle Dania, and Christopher Noble.