Dr. Paul McGhee made a career out of humor. He studied it, taught it, and wrote about it for decades. In fact, his scientific contributions to humor research made him a pioneer in the field.
His mother longed to attend college and therefore persuaded her son to attend. It proved challenging. Engineering was his major and he struggled with feeling like studies came easily to others; they knew things without even trying. But he was determined to keep going – even when his advisor encouraged him to look at a different major.
One day, Dr. McGhee was flipping through a book on perception…and was hooked. He found something he wanted to keep learning about. That book launched him in a different direction yet it still wasn’t easy sailing. He remembers a professor who required him to keep re-writing papers until they were perfect, which is ultimately how he learned to write well.
Dr. McGhee has received The Odyssey Award from his undergraduate alma mater, Oakland University. He received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Association of Applied Therapeutic Humor, and an additional Lifetime Achievement Award from ISHS. Let’s just agree he knows his stuff!
Accolades aside, some of the most influential advice he offers is to encourage people to ‘make humor their own.’ To be who you are and learn how to internalize the concepts of humor in life.
Dr. McGhee, still to this day, enjoys playing musical instruments and song writing because his love of learning translates to melodies too. He’s been known to pick up an instrument and learn how to play it simply because he loves the process.
Back in the day, he said to our co-founder, Nick, “Go forth young man,” and make this vision happen. And we did. Thank you, Dr. McGhee!