First Black Amway Triple Diamond Dies

Back in the early 1980s when I was listening to several Amway cassette tapes a week, it was not uncommon that one of the tapes would have George and Ruth Halsey speaking to a crowd of excited Amway distributors about becoming Amway’s first Triple Diamond Distributor. (Triple Diamond was a designation of a high level of achievement in building an Amway business)

From North Carolina, the Halseys had a “folksy”, homespun, charming aire about themselves and they spoke like parents to the throngs of listeners. George often referred to his wife as “Momma”.

As the first African-Americans to rise to notable ranks through Amway, they seemed to speak in a manner, that if they could do it, so could the listener.

I learned yesterday via “Tex’s Amway Global/Quixtar Blog” that George Halsey had passed away.

Tex seemed to think that with George’s passing, Amway Global and their critics would have one less “lying, cowardly kingpin” to deal with. And yes, I suppose over the past 25 years since I have heard a “George Halsey and Momma” motivational tape, that maybe George succumbed to the greed and avarice of promoting a motivational system beyond the intended purpose of helping other Amway distributors accomplish what he had done–but, I’d kinda like to have my one lasting memory of George stay the same.

My memory is George loved his wife. When he talked about her, he seemed to get nervous.

“Momma and me,” (and then he would cough) “Momma and me,” (maybe it was a stifled laugh) “we wanted it bad,”( maybe he was just clearing his throat)

It always seemed like George was going to say something “off-color” or slightly risque’ and was trying to catch himself. I was never sure if the coughing and clearing his throat was a nervous speech pattern or something quite different. And then to cap it off–after finally finishing whatever innocuous story he was telling about “Momma and Me”; he would sorta giggle. Like, he wanted us to “catch the drift” he was trying to convey. That’s my memory of George Halsey.


GREENSBORO — George Thomas Halsey, Jr., 72, went home to be with Jesus on Tuesday, September 2, 2008, at Moses Cone Hospital after a lengthy illness surrounded by his family and friends.

Funeral services will be held 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 6, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1301 Alamance Church Road, Greensboro, NC 27406, with the Rev. George W. Brooks officiating. Burial will follow in Guilford Memorial Park.

Mr. Halsey was born on April 2, 1936, in Wilmington, N.C., to the late George T. Halsey, Sr. and the late Inez Halsey.

He was a graduate of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, music major where he became a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. After graduating, Mr. Halsey had a full and exciting life. He was a Greensboro Police Officer then a claims adjuster for Nationwide Insurance Company. In 1975, he was introduced to the Amway Business. George and his wife, Ruth quickly became the first black couple in the history of the company to achieve the level of Triple Diamond. That achievement allowed him to travel all over the world, for pleasure and to motivate thousands. He was known for his big smile, bright eyes, loving and kind nature. He and his family were featured in the Ebony Magazine, Jet Magazine, Black Enterprise and several well known books spotlighting their achievements.

George deeply loved his family….

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26 Responses to First Black Amway Triple Diamond Dies

  1. tex says:

    Tex seemed to think that with George’s passing, Amway Global and their critics would have one less “lying, cowardly kingpin” to deal with. —- I don’t think I said that. In fact, quite the opposite. I would prefer the rest of them stay alive to witness the demise of their beloved tool scams, and fully understand how they spent their entire life as an LCK.

  2. Karen says:

    I am George Halsey’s daughter. He was completely honest on every tape. The principles behind the Amway business and the wonderful people that worked with us took a man that usually worked 2 jobs to make ends meet, to a level of success that my Mom, daughter and myself are taken care of even after his death. It was not luck, and no one gave it to him. He worked hard, drove thousands of miles to help people and would invest as much in them as they were willing to invest in themselves to help them become successful. In every aspect of life there are dishonest people and if they must be judged, it should be done individually. My dad never read a speech, he spoke from his heart everytime, what he said was his truth. He gave himself to the world, telling them if a shy guy like him could do this, they could too.

  3. tex says:


    I am God’s creation.

    God never intended me to lie about the source of most of the profit being tools, and not A/Q.

    He never intended anyone else to lie, either.

    When did George describe how much money came from tools versus A/Q?

    I never heard him mention it.

    I’ve seen him on stage as well, and he never mentioned it.

    Do you realize you lie by leaving out important facts?

    Especially when you are talking to your “business partners” and “teammates?”

    That’s why in a court of law, the oath is to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

    George is in God’s hands now, but there are MANY more LCK’s (lying cowardly “kingpins”) left to deal with.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am a professional comic and comedy writer and I have a recognizable face around the Store, so let me tell you I have heard Palin’s pathetic comedy routine in every bad open mike in America – i’m surprised she didn’t do the Mrs. Butterworth’s joke or put baby powder in her hand and pretend to sneeze. But I can tell that somebody coached her in stand-up because she looks like every pathetic loser that came out of a coaching class so they get free mike time at a major club.

    And you think the Imperial Palace sucks?? No duh it sucks. The employees celebrate Hitler’s birthday and made the front page of paper years ago – a copy used to hang in my bosses’ office in Las Vegas. He was the county prosecutor. There have been more dead bodies recovered off the back staircase at the Imperial Palace than found face down in the desert. Unless you like Hitler, don’t plan on telling any liberal joke at the Imperial Palace, especially avoid the back stairs.

    Anybody who likes or even votes for a white woman who says “I don’t know what the VP does” is a racist. That’s a no brainer now.

  5. Howdy Anon,

    Thanks for stopping by, and it looks like you took the time to read several blog entries; but I’m confused about your last statement…did you say I was a racist or people that vote for Palin are racist?

    On the whole, I would have to say people that vote for McCain/Palin are just Republicans.

    BTW, can you divulge who you are?


  6. Anonymous says:

    Karen I am saddened to hear about the passing of George. He was truly a great man.

    Tex – the internet vigilante justice is dafametory, tastless and unAmerican. (Presumtion of inocence).

    Unless Mr. Halsey specifically stole something from you you should appologise.

    Tools and system in Amway are a complex issue that is best left for courts to adjudicate. So Tex do you have letigation pending? Pesonally I have over $5000 and never went direct. How much do you have? Bottom line if you have been defrauded prove it in court otherwise act like an American.

    Mike Lawrence

  7. Ernest says:

    Karen, I too am sorry to hear about the passing of your dad. While I’m no longer in the business, my first exposure was from a couple here in Columbus, Ohio that took me to a function in Greensboro. I LOVED IT. Some years later I joined the business in another line, but did get to meet you parents when they came to speak. I too am from Wilmington, NC. As far as Tex and the tools, he’s got issues. I spent what I spent on tools, but that information propelled me in other ventures and motivated me to take that information and apply it to what I really love to do. No one complains when Franklin Covey sells those same items….

  8. hamite1212 says:

    I was a platnum before I quit due to a divorce. I love Halsey and he was genuine and kind. I spent money to make money but I worked it and it’s sad that a great man has passed away. I was never in his download or group but I’m a white man and broke but I see America changing into idiots and people who always want a free and easy life without paying a hard price for success. George Halsey did work hard and had obstacles due to him being black but he did it. Tool money or whatever you guys throw mud about is just the same as you paying money for gas to go to a job and can’t take the gas prices off tax. BLAH! BLAH! BLAH! We never know everything about anyone but the Lord does and Mr. Halsey and every human are in bodies of flesh. Everything in flesh sins but many out there fight the sins to be what God wants them to be. George seem to keep trying to be sinless and still was just a human being loving his family and the Lord Jesus Christ. Go ahead throw the stones for the time will come you will meet HIM and what happens when you meet HIM: Psa 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” You that are against a man who has died and can’t pick on the enemies of our nation that are enemies to us and are living? Put your energies on protecting us from real enemies but leave this man alone and stop hurting the family by attacking him.

    You folks that post comments against this man are vipers and I’m no longer in the Qixtar/Amway business. Show what any type of love you have, if any, by praising the man for his family sake. He would have certainly done the same for you if the story was about YOU!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am an EX Quix guy, who loved him!!!!! Funny and motivational.
    I am now building a new business and miss him. Never will he be forgotten!

  10. loren stidham says:

    Hi my name is Loren Stidham, and i met george halsey yrs ago at a family reuion in dallas tx, and he was always my favorite person to listen to, and i wanted to meet him and ruth so bad i took the last money i had and borrowed my dads car and drove to dallas tx, to see the couple that inspired me so much, it was like seeing santa claus for the first time, he was the nicest man i had ever met and the most kind, i felt a spiritual presence about him that was very strong, i loved them both like like family, and he was a very driven man, i cried when i herd he passed away to this day i feel sad in my heart, because he and to me all the amway people are the greatest people on the earth, they really changed my life, i think i have every tape he ever recorded and if he was 500 miles from where i was i would go just to see him, from rick setzer to all the other diamonds who are very strong people and i believe GOD has blessed and will continue to bless all they stand for which is the truth and loving each and every one like we were all brothers and sisters because we really are in Christ, this life will not be the same with him gone, he was one of my favorite persons in the world, my regards, Loren

  11. Ayad says:

    I am Ayad Mohamed; a long time downline IBO since 1983. I was always impressed by George’s gentle and yet excited demeanor. He always greeted me a with a warm smile and kind and encouraging words. I saw hi in person in a dreamnight function five years ago in January 2003 on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (or it could have been in Greensboro, North Carolina; I can’t remember which). I will surely miss him.

  12. Ron Leonard says:

    I was a distributor back in the early 80’s in the Setzer line and had several opportunities to listen to George. Yeah, he was quite motivational and inspired people, but none the less the whole Amway thing done MUCH more harm than good for people. I personally spent thousands of dollars that could have gone to the betterment of my family (food clothing, housing). But I listened to the propaganda and BS that was put forth By the Yager/ Setzer and whoever else to sacrafice to achieve the unobtainable dream that they claimed, using People like George to further their little
    tools scam. Was GEorge privy to this Scam? Probably. May God Rest all their souls. They will need it desperately.Rick Setzer was one of the biggest hucksters ever. I can be reached at if you feel the need to respond

  13. Patrick says:

    I find it hard to reconcile the bitterness that seems to eminate from people that blame others for their own situation. I was an Amway direct distributor in the early 80s. I travelled fom the UK to New Orleans in ’82 for the Neuenschwander family reunion. George was there. He was inspirational. Tools were needed to build a successful business. People had a choice whether or not to use them. I would often lend mine rather than sell downline. You couldn’t make any income from tools unless you first built the business. Nothing was suppressed, it was common knowledge that you would be recompensed for the extra work in distributing tools. Please, let George R.I.P., and not label him so acrimoniously.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I am Shantashil from India, I never knew George, but I know you can not become triple Diamond by fooling people and not helping them ear well.
    The fools complain about the tools for a bad job done by them, a good workman useses his tools to improve his working. The complainers are the people who are FAILURES in life as they dont know how to own a responsibility, so they a bound fail in every sphear.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was in Amway in the early 1990’s. I had heard about George Halsey, but never meet him.
    Actually I think he was a Britt school one time. He was in the crowd and Bill Britt mentioned he was here, but he didnt speak. To his family and friend sorry to hear about his passing.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I am so saddened to hear of George’s passing. He and Ruth were so genuine and inspirational.I am an ex-Amway distributor who was not successful but I can tell you that I am a better person for having heard people like George Halsey on tapes. His “Momma married a man” still inspires me over 20 years after hearing it. I love you,Gearge. God bless your family.Family members,if you read this please know that we loved your Daddy…

  17. BrotherKaleem says:

    If you are successful in MLM, it is TOTALLY up to you.

    And if you are NOT successful in MLM, it is ALSO totally up to you.

    There’s fault, and then there’s responsibility.

    It’s not your FAULT if you get misled. But it is your RESPONSIBILITY.

    MLM is a lot harder than it looks. Consequently, most people don’t make it. About 10%-15% of the people make 85%-90% of the money. So if you’re not in the 10%-15%, you’re TOAST— even though it’s not your fault.

    But it IS your RESPONSIBILITY to do what you must do to be a 10%-15%er, because that’s what it’ll take to be successful.

    I’ve made a career of helping failing salespeople and frustrated MLMers who want to know how to be successful. Most of what I offer them is free. But how and what you spend your money on is YOUR choice, and YOU are responsible for the consequences— no one else.

    Every tape/tool purchaser made the decision to make the purchase. And an ounce of critical thinking is worth a pound of hindsight. I’ve never heard of an Amway tool that didn’t require some ACTION on your part, as opposed to a “plug-it-in, make-me-rich-automatically” approach.

    After the motivating and training is done, if you’re going to be successful in MLM, three things have to happen. People have to:

    1. Join the company.
    2. Buy products.
    3. Influence others to do the same.

    If those things don’t happen, there’s no check for you… motivated or not.

    So my focus is on what to say and do to get those three things done, with less emphasis on cheerleading.

    But cheerleading is good, especially when it helps us be better people.

    Bottom line,

    1. Make your choices.
    2. Live with them.
    3. Quit bitching.
    4. Don’t blame anyone else.

    And quit trying to save the world by “warning” them.

    Save YOURSELF.

    HELP others.

    (RIP Mr. Halsey, may God be pleased with him.)


  18. altrebrad says:


    I am greatly sadden by the loss of your father. I am no longer in the Amway business, but have been trying to figure out for the last few years how to get his tapes. He ws very inspiring and with the constant negative this Country seems to know anymore, it would be awesome to listen to all of his tapes while driving down the road. For those who got to be in his downline and were able to work with him closely will surely miss a great person.

    He will be missed

  19. nathan says:

    First of all I would like express my deepest condolences on the passing of Mr.Halsey. George really inspired me. I just found this out and was sad to read this. I loved his and Ruth’s tapes,he really was a kind and caring man. i stayed about 25 miles west of greensboro,so this allowed me to attend many of george’s meetings even though i was in his down-line he and Ruth was gracious host. these people that’s posting these nagative comments need to get a life;what toads. these people are made at george and ruth success and are lashing out at them because they themselves are loser and quitters. what’s the old adage-(if you are a failure yourself then it must be someone elses fault,man what losers. well i had to say that because it’s not fair to put down such nice people as the halsey’s. George my friend,you have run your race and you have finished your course,truly heavenly treasures are laid up for you. Mrs.Ruth Halsey and Karen i pray that Jesus’keep you all in His love. God bless.

  20. abajan says:

    I was just searching Google for videos that might exist online featuring George and Ruth when I stumbled upon this blog.

    OMG! I am truly saddened by the news of George Halsey’s passing. I used to be involved in Amway (later Quixtar) here in Barbados and always enjoyed listening to audio tapes by George and Ruth. My favorite was titled “And I’m Still Shy”, where, among other things, he talk about how he never quite got over his shyness, despite his massive success. I think it’s on that tape where he mentions his daughter (was it you, Karen? I think so) who was trying to persuade him to drive her new Porche 911 (I think it was) and he related how it pinned him to the seat when he put the pedal to the metal! During that section of the tape he relates how he was never caught by the cops for speeding because he used to be one and knew where they were hiding! LOL

    George and Ruth actually came to this island some years ago and were the featured speakers at a rally held at Sam Lord’s Castle (a well known hotel at the time but now, sadly, abandoned).

    Karen, by any measure your father was a great man. Don’t let the naysayers get you down. I hope your mom is well.

    Lots of love from Barbados.

  21. Anonymous says:

    LOL i love it how people bring GOD into the equation of things. GO back read the bible and realise that GOD had many many people that were very wealthy. Good luck in your life ventures. Slagging people off is such a wasted commitment of time.

    By the way nice article posted too.

  22. Nathan says:

    George’s “momma married a man” tape,actually it’s titled “so this is diamond.” is still a inspiration to me to this very day. i was once an amway rep. and the time that i spent in amway was very inspiring,and where i really first started to dream and set goals. george’s tapes, and his and ruth meetings that i attended was also a very big help. george halsey was a beautiful human being with a heart of gold. he’s gone,but oh what a legacy he left. God bless.

  23. Haas '09 Go Bears! says:

    I, too, was fortunate enough to hear George and Ruth Halsey speak at the Johnson Family Reunion in Irvine, CA in ’86 (recorded on cassette titled “You’ve Got to Make it Happen”). In the time since, I have yet to hear ANY individual convey such a deep and heartfelt message as George and Ruth did that evening. What I remember about that night is how little they spoke about Amway, and how much they spoke of the individual who is unconstrained by obstacles when he/she is focused on their dream. It was truly an amazing evening. I’m blessed to have had privilege to hear the Halsey’s speak. 25 years later, I can still hear George tell the story of the eagle and the prairie chickens as if it occurred last night. Thank God.

    Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Halsey for touching my life and the life of, quite literally, tens of thousands of others.

    Now, I must ask you, “Tex,” how many lives have you touched?

    R.I.P George Halsey

  24. Nix says:

    @Tex, you think really highly of yourself don’t you. Think you know everything.

    Ofcourse there is money to be made from the tools. What happens when you’ve spent a few years of your life building this business, gone through tought paths, did things differently to achieve successful results? You have a story to tell and you share your experiences. Do you go and see Richard Branson or Tony Robbins free?? No because they’ve spent a significant amount of their lives to a cause and now sharing their expertise with everyone.

    Another thing is too, when you start a blog it doesn’t cost anything. When you want to become a doctor, you have to go to university to take up the courses and pay the fees for the course, books, etc. Same thing here pal. If you wanna be successful in this business, you’ve gotta follow the people who’ve already achieved that success that you want.

    As far as telling everyone that there’s money to be made in tools. All that information is explicitly available to IBOs with whichever organisation they’re with.

    But hey, there’s going to be gazillions of CROWN AMBASSADORS coming out of this business and on the other hand there is going to be millions of people like you starting up blogs to bad mouth a company/org that is standing tall for over 50 years. Drop in the ocean mate.

    This business has changed people’s lives for better. If you think you’re doing a public service by what you’re doing, good for you. I suggest you see a psychiatrist. If the business didn’t work for you, it’s not the business’ fault. You didn’t work.

  25. Anonymous says:


    I read the book your mom just wrote “Momma married a Man” it was amazing and def worth reading! It was inspiring!
    I am still in the Amway business and have reached the Platinum level in the business 6 months ago and will be a new emerald in March. The business works still today…tools are OPTIONAL but beneficial…just like college textbooks and material are OPTIONAL as well. The tools in the business don’t cost nearly as much as college text book or college class credits. College is a rip off and the “scam”. It’s amazing how many people quit Amway and it’s funny the people that complain always quit…thank God, Mr. and Mrs. Halsey didn’t quit!!!! RIP Mr. Halsey

  26. Joe Hartley says:

    It’s dec 2014 and I just read the blog about George Halsey’s death. I met Mr Halsey on several occasions. I am no longer is the biz but I was just two down from triple diamond Rick Setzer, who was his upline mentor. I respect George as he was a tremendous leader and motivator. He inspired me and thousands of others of others. What a great loss of a wonderful human being. I know he is with his maker.

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