Horatio Alger


  1. of or characteristic of the heroes in the novels of Horatio Alger, who begin life in poverty and achieve success and wealth through honesty, hard work, and virtuous behavior:

    the Horatio Alger story of his rise in the business world.

Alger, Horatio, Jr.

  1. A nineteenth-century American author known for his many books in which poor boys become rich through their earnest attitudes and hard work.

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A true story of spectacular worldly success achieved by someone who started near the bottom is often called a “Horatio Alger story.”

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Horatio Alger1

First recorded in 1920–25

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Example Sentences

I have always thought of Helen Gurley Brown as the female version of a Horatio Alger hero—the American dream of a self-made woman.

The candidate who is accused of instigating class warfare seems like she has stepped out of a Horatio Alger story.

In 1996, he was enshrined in the Horatio Alger Association.

By dint of will, intelligence, and luck he had risen, Horatio Alger-like, from an impoverished and brutal childhood.

Of course no one ever really made a speech like that to himself, even in the Horatio Alger books.

This low-priced series of books comprises the most popular stories ever written by Horatio Alger, Jr.

What a pleasant sound the name of Horatio Alger, Jr., has to boys who read clean, wholesome stories of adventure!

This is one of the last stories penned by that prince of all juvenile writers, Horatio Alger, Jr., and is one of his best.