In Reply to: Success has many parents... posted by ESC on March 15, 2009 at 23:51:
: : Does anyone know the origin or first use of the phrase "Success has many parents but failure is an orphan"?
: VICTORY HAS A HUNDRED FATHERS AND DEFEAT IS AN ORPHAN - Popularized by President John F. Kennedy , but coined by the Italian diplomat, and son-in-law of Mussolini, Count Caleazzo Ciano (1903-44). 1942. La victoria trova cento padri, e nessuno vuole riconoscere l'insuccesso. - The Ciano Diaries 1939-1943. Vol. 2. Found in varying forms including "Success has many parents." 1991 Times (Trenton) article about "The Adams Family" movie. "...And, of course, everybody is taking bow after bow because, as they say, success has many parents." From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Page 352.
. "Victory has a THOUSAND fathers, but defeat is an orphan" was "made famous" by President Kennedy "as he assumed responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco." Mr. Safire cites the 1942 use by Count Ciano. But, he says, phrase watcher Paul Hoffman reports that the the exact phrase the president used "is spoken by the character portraying Field Marshal von Rundstedt in the film 'The Desert Fox' .'" "Safire's New Political Dictionary" by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993). Page 841-842.