New York, NY
New York, NY
- Known For:
Author of Quiet
About Susan Cain
The youngest of three children, Susan Horowitz Cain, was born in 1968 and raised in Lawrence, New York. Her father was a medical school professor,and her grandfather was a rabbi from Eastern Europe who immigrated to the United States in 1927. Though he intended to bring his family to the U.S. later, he could not come up with the money for it before the start of World War 2. As a result, much of Cain’s extended family on her father’s side did not survive the Holocaust.
Cain’s mother practiced Orthodox Judaism, though Cain herself pushed back on many restrictions of the religion. She says this is likely due to the mixed influences she received, as her father was not religious.
As a child, Cain aspired to be a writer. In fifth grade, she began writing plays and magazines. She says she has had an introverted personality her whole life. She states, “I’ve been aware of it since I was 4, even though I didn’t have a language for it.”
She describes her hobbies, saying, “I prefer listening to talking, reading to socializing, and cozy chats to group settings.”
Education and Professional Life
Cain earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University before earning her law degree at Harvard Law School in 1993. After law school, she spent seven years working for the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. She then left to start her own consulting firm, which she ran for four years.
In 2012, Cain published her first book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. The book landed on numerous bestseller lists and launched Cain to fame. It remained on the New York Times best seller list for sixteen weeks. Based on the book’s themes, Cain’s Ted Talk, “The Power of Introverts,” reached one million views faster than any other Ted video. As of 2023, it has over 32 million views.
After the success of her first book, Cain published Quiet Power, which discusses introversion in kids. She also released the Quiet Journal and the Quiet at Work Course. In 2015, she founded Quiet Revolution, a company that trains introverted leaders, supports introverted children, and works to rebalance the power between introverts and extroverts.
Susan Cain’s latest book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, was released in 2022. It debuted at number one on the New York Times best seller list and was chosen as part of Oprah’s book club. Oprah stated, “This book has the power to transform the way you see your life and even the world. I have started to look at my own life in the world differently.”
Cain has written for several publications, including, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Economist, TIME, and The Wall Street Journal. She has spoken at Google, PIXAR, the U.S. Treasury, P&G, Harvard, and West Point. She also curates the Next Big Ideas Book Club with Adam Grant and Malcolm Gladwell.
Cain has been recognized several times for her speaking, writing, and professional success. She’s received the following awards:
- Harvard Law School’s Celebration 60 Award for Thought Leadership
- Toastmasters International Golden Gavel Award for Communication and Leadership
- Inc. Magazine’s Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts in 2014
- Named one of the “Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company
- Named one of LinkedIn’s “Top 10 Influencers”
Susan Cain Quotes
- “I dream big and have audacious goals, and I see no contradiction between this and my quiet nature.”
- “Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.”
- “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
- “We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run.”
- “The secret that our poets and philosophers have been trying to tell us for centuries is that our longing is the great gateway to belonging.”
- “If we could honor sadness a little more, maybe we could see it—rather than enforced smiles and righteous outrage—as the bridge we need to connect with each other. We could remember that no matter how distasteful we might find someone’s opinions, no matter how radiant, or fierce, someone may appear, they have suffered, or they will.”
- “Whatever pain you can’t get rid of, make it your creative offering.”
- “We’re built to live simultaneously in love and loss, bitter and sweet.”
Cain met her husband, Ken, after leaving her job at a law firm. He was a writer who worked doing peacekeeping negotiations for the U.N. He encouraged her to pursue her writing career. Cain and her husband now have two children together, Eli and Sam.
Cain lost two family members due to complications of COVID-19. First, her brother, radiologist Mitch Horowitz passed away in April 2020. Her father contracted COVID-19 less than one year later and passed away soon after.
Susan Cain Today
Cain lives with her family in New York. She says, “I live on the banks of the Hudson River in an 1822 captain’s cottage with my beloved husband, sons, and magnolia trees. My favorite activities are reading, writing, lounging around cafés, and traveling the world with my family. Lately, I’ve also been on a tennis kick.”
Cain continues to share her ideas through a weekly newsletter with over 220,000 subscribers. In 2023, she is also working with Bated Breath Theater Company to adapt Bittersweet into a play.
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- Cain, S. (2012). The power of introverts. Retrieved April 16, 2023, from https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts/comments
- Holson, L. (2015, July 25). Susan Cain instigates a ‘quiet revolution’ of introverts. Retrieved April 16, 2023, from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/26/fashion/susan-cain-instigating-a-quiet-revolution-of-introverts.html
- Cain, S. Are Some of the Best Doctors Cerebral Introverts?. (2016). Retrieved 16 April 2023, from https://medium.com/@susancain/are-some-of-the-best-doctors-cerebral-introverts-1e6115fcc095
- Cain, S. (2022). Bittersweet. Random House US.
- About. (2022, April 12). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://susancain.net/about/
- Susan Cain (1968-). (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://csuitemind.com/biography/show/susan-cain
- Gibson, L. (2017, February 18). Quiet, please. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2017/03/quiet-please
- Best Sellers – The New York Times. (2023). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://web.archive.org/web/20130122084623/http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/2013-01-20/hardcover-nonfiction/list.html
- Best Sellers – Books – The New York Times. (2022, April 14). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://web.archive.org/web/20220414001038/https://www.nytimes.com/books/best-sellers/
- Bittersweet. (2023). Oprah’s Book Club. Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://www.oprah.com/book/oprahs-book-club-bittersweet-by-susan-cain?editors_pick_id=26790
- Media. (2022, March 15). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://susancain.net/susan-cain-media/
- Susan Cain – National Speakers Bureau. (2023). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://www.nsb.com/speakers/susan-cain/
- Next Big Idea Club: The Hand-Picking Ideas Authors Book Club. (2023). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://nextbigideaclub.com/
- Broadway Books. (2013). “Quiet” author Susan Cain receives Harvard Law School’s “Celebration 60” Award. Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/quiet-author-susan-cain-receives-harvard-law-schools-celebration-60-award-226988671.htm l
- Toastmasters International honors introvert expert Susan Cain with its Golden Gavel award. (2013). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://mediacenter.toastmasters.org/2013-04-15-Toastmasters-International-honors-introvert-expert-Susan-Cain-with-its-Golden-Gavel-award
- Speakers’ Spotlight. (2014). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://www.speakers.ca/2014/05/top-50-leadership-and-management-experts/
- Fast Company Staff. (2014, January 29). Most creative people in business 1000: The complete list – fast company. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3025456/most-creative-people-in-business-1000-the-complete-list
- Susan Cain with Angela Duckworth, April 12 | Live Talks Los Angeles. (2022). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://livetalksla.org/events/susan-cain/#:~:text=Susan%20Cain%2C%20named%20one%20of,That%20Can%27t%20Stop%20Talking.
- Author Susan Cain. (n.d.). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://quietrev.com/author/susan.cain/
- Cain, S. (2013). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. New York, NY: Crown , a division of Random House.
- Cain, S. (2023, April 13). 5 ways for introverts to socialize (happily & authentically). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-ways-introverts-socialize-happily-authentically-susan-cain/
- Lang, B. Susan Cain’s ‘Bittersweet’ Getting Adapted for Stage – Variety. (2023). Retrieved 17 April 2023, from https://variety.com/2023/legit/news/susan-cain-best-selling-book-oprah-bittersweet-adapted-for-stage-1235568253/
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