Cory Booker, Newark’s Dream Mayor

Cory Booker

Mayor Cory Booker

What Enneagram type is Cory Booker (born in 1969), the dream mayor of Newark New Jersey? He’s a vegetarian both for health reasons and environmental reasons… aha, an idealist. And he’s not preachy about it. He just believes it’s right for himself. He’s beginning to sound like an introvert. He doesn’t drink or do drugs. No addictions, even to TV or food or sex. He always wanted to be good. He’s beginning to sound like a 1-Perfectionist. “I really found myself in high school being the guy who was always there for people, comforting someone who is going through a breakup, holding somebody’s hair while they’re puking,” he said. “I really liked being an older brother figure within a group of friends, and I had friends in every group: the jocks, the band kids, the geeks. It felt like I could move seamlessly.” A 2-Helper?

Booker earned a B.A. in political science and an M.A. in sociology from Stanford University. He was a star football player and was elected to the student government council. He won a Rhodes Scholarship to Queens College, Oxford, England, and an honors degree in modern history in 1994. He met Rabbi Shmuley Boteach there and became president of the L’Chaim Society, an organization devoted to easing tensions between Jews and African-Americans. He attended Yale University Law School, then started free legal clinics for low-income residents of the neighboring city of New Haven, CT. Returning to New Jersey, he was hired as a staff attorney for New York City’s Urban Justice Center, then became Program Coordinator of the Newark (NJ) Youth Project. Although professionally and financially successful, in 1998 Booker moved into Brick Towers, a Newark housing project, which was notorious for its run-down condition and crime problems. He led the project’s tenants in their fight for improvements in housing, maintenance and security. That same year he won election to the Newark City Council. The next year, as a council member, he went on a ten-day hunger strike to protest blatant drug-dealing in one of Newark’s worst housing projects. In 2000 he lived in a motor home for five months, staying on streets in some of the most crime- and drug-infested areas of the city to see how bad conditions were.

He’s beginning to sound like a 9-Peace-Seeker: mediating, a humanist, looking out for all the people, not just his own career. But I have a hunch. Could he be a 6-Questioner with an underlying motivation of security? The Questioner loves justice and has a strong connection to the Peace Seeker. Making friends with every group in high school fits, being idealistic and interested in helping those in need of help fits. What’s more, Questioners can be extremely brave, as Booker has been living in scary neighborhoods and rushing into a burning building and to accident scenes to save people. And Questioners often have a tremendous amount of energy, which he obviously has.
In 2002 Booker decided to run for Mayor. (His battle against long-time mayor Sharpe James was chronicled in the documentary Street Fight (2005).) Booker made a strong showing but lost the election.

In 2003 Booker started Newark Now, a nonprofit civic improvement group, became a partner in a West Orange (NJ) law firm and a senior fellow at Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. In 2006 he ran for mayor of Newark again. Mayor James suddenly dropped out of the race and picked a Newark deputy mayor to run in his place. Booker trounced James’ candidate in the largest landslide victory in Newark’s history. In addition, Newark voters swept out the whole City Council, replacing them with the slate of candidates endorsed by Booker, giving him control over the city government.

Some of this blog was based on Is Cory Booker the Greatest Mayor in America? By Lucy Kaylin

If you’re curious about the Enneagram types of other famous people, go to this page of my web site.

“Where the Wild Things Are” Author’s Type

“Where the Wild Things Are”

Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, died last month. Sendak also wrote other children’s books, including The Little Bear series, and designed sets for many operas. The New York Times called Sendak “the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century” and author Neil Gaiman said, “He was unique, grumpy, brilliant, gay, wise, magical and made the world better by creating art in it.”

Sendak kept that he was gay a secret from his parents. He lived with Dr. Eugene Glynn for 50 years until Glynn died.

This is an appropriate blog to mention my new book, The Enneagram of Death, which will be published in a few weeks by the International Enneagram Association. The IEA will use its profits to expand work on the Enneagram.

Postscript by Mariana Cook in the May 12, 2012 New Yorker consists of an edited interview she did with Sendak in 2009 in which he appears to be an Enneagram Romantic type. He says, “I wish I didn’t know how old I was. This is far more than I expected, far more than I need, far more than I desire. I didn’t think I’d live this long.

“I never got along with my parents. I didn’t feel as though they were my parents. I felt more parent affection coming from my brother and sister. I was very lucky to have two siblings of opposite sexes, so I could have another mother and another father and ones I really adored. My father connected me with the Wall Street crash. I don’t know quite what that meant but it was part of the guilt of having me. And then there was all the Holocaust stuff. My only memory of my mother is of her crying and pulling her hair out literally, because people were dying in Europe…

“I was born in 1928. Same year as Mickey Mouse, but he made out better—straight to Hollywood, straight to the cosmetic department. I did not approve of his buying into all that crap and letting his soul get despoiled. I remained poor and depressed, as a Brooklyn child should. Mickey wasn’t depressed but anyone who looked like him should have been. He became a schmuck, a very famous schmuck. And God knows I adored him, but I was a schmuck, too. I lived in Brooklyn.”

Romantics frequently feel ashamed and have periods of depression. All Romantics aren’t all the same, of course, but some have the habit Sendak had of keeping the meaning of some of what they say mysterious, possibly so they’ll appear more knowledgeable/superior to the person they’re speaking with. If the other feels ashamed (for not knowing what is impossible to know), this Romantic can hope to find solace in the other feeling even worse than he or she does.

Sendak goes on to say, “People do say awfully nice things [about my books], but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re a stinky person by nature… It’s hard to be happy. Some people have the gift of pulling themselves up and out and saying there is more to life than just tragedy. And then there are those who can’t, and I’m one of them. Do you believe it when people say they’re happy?”

See my other blog and my list on my web site for more famous Enneagram types.

What Type is David Sedaris, Irreverent Comedian, Humorist?

David Sedaris

David Sedaris

David Sedaris, born in 1956, was brought up in North Carolina and lives with his partner in England. He was first brought to my attention in 1992 on National Public Radio with his SantaLand Diaries, describing the time he worked as Santa’s elf during Christmas at Macy’s in New York. I thought I’d never stop laughing.

Sedaris has been publishing essays and short stories since 1994. He’s sold millions and millions of copies of his books. He’s funny and familiar, outrageous, imaginative, and irreverent. So what Enneagram type is he? His type seems to jumps around the way a monkey jumps around… from the witty Questioner, for sure, to the quick Adventurer, for sure, to the comfortable Peace Seeker, who grew up in a family of six children and has a natural feeling for chattiness and a kind of homeyness. With an overlay of the Asserter for shock and surprise.

5-6-7-8 all in a row make up the anti-authoritarian right side of the Enneagram. He could be a 7 with 6 and 8 wings or an 8 with 7 and 9 wings. But he’s more likely to be a 6 with a 7 wing who goes to his 9 arrow (with the 7 and 9 leaking over into the 8). He’s prolific too, so perhaps he gets his ability to work hard from 6 going to his 3 arrow.

Enneagram figure

Enneagram figure

Sedaris was a contributor to Ira Glass’ This American Life and wrote several plays with his sister, Amy Sedaris.

Some quotes:

“It’s astonishing the amount of time that certain straight people devote to gay sex – trying to determine what goes where and how often. They can’t imagine any system outside their own, and seem obsessed with the idea of roles, both in bed and out of it. Who calls whom a bitch? Who cries harder when the cat dies? Which one spends the most time in the bathroom? I guess they think that it’s that cut-and-dried, though of course it’s not. Hugh might do the cooking, and actually wear an apron while he’s at it, but he also chops the firewood, repairs the hot-water heater, and could tear off my arm with no more effort than it takes to uproot a dandelion.”
― David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames

At the morgue, people were so desensitized that they would eat lunch in the glass walled room adjacent to the autopsy room. A viewing room. Because it had the best air conditioning in the building. So they would eat in there and maybe somebody would come in who had been found after being dead for three days and they would say: That is the exact purple I want for those drapes in the study. They didn’t miss a beat. They could eat through anything. DAVID SEDARIS, January Magazine, June 2000
In books and movies infidelity always looks so compelling, so right. Here are people who defy petty convention and are rewarded with only the tastiest bits of human experience. DAVID SEDARIS, When You Are Engulfed in Flames
I am a person who feels guilty for crimes I have not committed, or have not committed in years. The police search the train station for a serial rapist and I cover my face with a newspaper, wondering if maybe I did it in my sleep. The last thing I stole was an eight-track tape, but to this day I’m unable to enter a store without feeling like a shoplifter. It’s all the anxiety with none of the free stuff.
DAVID SEDARIS, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

For more Famous Types, see my list on my web site.

Obama as All 9 Enneagram Types – in Cartoons

Obama   As you may know, we have all nine Enneagram personality types within us, though we mainly express the viewpoint of one of them. So in 2008 when Obama was running for president I drew cartoons of him from all nine points of view. I believe Obama’s primary type is the Peace Seeker. We’ve seen that played out in his tendency to mediate and try to include all sides when promoting a program. Here’s a drawing of Obama and Michelle as Peace Seeker monks. The Dalai Lama is a Peace Seeker too. This represents their spiritual and humanitarian nature.

If you’d like to download these 9 cartoons to your web site or email, go to They come in 3 and 4 inch sizes.

Obama leans heavily on his Perfectionist wing (also called a “One”) for the ability to be organized, his skill speaking and writing, his self-discipline, and his idealism. I’m skeptical about the hand saying he’s on the left in this cartoon. He stayed with his conservative predecessor’s war policy and kept much of Bush’s economic staff. But he’s certainly to the left of Romney in most ways.

Obama as a Perfectionist

Obama as a Perfectionist


Obama as a Helper

The Helper image is portrayed by Michelle here, adoring her husband.

She’s playing the role of nurturer and lover.

I couldn’t put all the cartoons here because of problems spacing them on WordPress. My Obama Achiever cartoon has him looking in the mirror paying attention to how he’s dressed. Obama dresses well as do most Achievers. How they look and how others perceive them is important to them. They’re sometimes called Performers.

I don’t think Obama would be mistaken for the Romantic personality, the artistic type. Romantics tend toward depression or melancholy. Obama seems like a caring person, however, as are most Romantics. When Romantics use their Achiever wing they’re sometimes flamboyant, the way he’s dressed in my Romantic version of him.

Observers tend to be independent and are often nerdy. This could be the scholarly attorney part of Obama, the part that likes history and knows what’s going on in the world. Questioners are known for their loyalty and for watching out for what can go wrong. This is his protective side, trying to keep us safe.


Obama as Adventurer

This Adventurer woman would love to have Obama for president. She wants to elect an intelligent president. The Adventurer in Obama would be his good sense of humor.

He must use the Assertive part of himself to have made it to president. He has an Asserter wing and I’ve heard he can get very angry. If he’s elected again, I hope he uses more of his Asserter in dealing with Wall Street – to fix what’s wrong with the banking system. His administration hasn’t restructured it as promised three years ago.

 See my Psychology Today blog on the movie Carnage and for Famous People’s types and more..

Tiger Woods, “Achiever” Type Golf Champion

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods (born in 1975) has been a golf star almost all his life. He was number one in the world most of 1999 – 2010 and is now eighth. He’s won 16 World Golf Championships, 72 major tour events, and many other awards. He was introduced to golf before the age of two by his father and won the Under Age 10 section of the Drive, Pitch, and Putt competition when he was six. When he was eight he won the 9–10 boys’ event at the Junior World Golf Championships and the Junior World Championships six times.

Reading his own blogs, it’s clear that Tiger Woods works hard. He’s a good sport, polite, competitive. Wanting to do his best appears more important than wielding power over others. You’ll experience his extroversion and optimism, typical of Achievers in the Enneagram system.
4-11-12 Tiger Wood blog excerpts:
“One cool thing about winning was my kids got to watch on television. They were at home rooting and were so excited when I was able to show them the trophy the next day. They were excited for about three seconds and then it was on to the next thing.
One thing I would like to say about the Masters last week is that obviously I got frustrated at times and know some of my actions were wrong, especially at No. 16. The Masters means a lot to me, and I was trying as hard as I could. I’m out there competing. I grind every day, and my expectations are to do my best. It’s very disappointing when that doesn’t happen…
Oh man, it was such a great atmosphere to play. The people were so fantastic, nice and supportive. They were trying to get me to play well. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t quite get it done…
Congratulations to Bubba Watson for winning. We used to play a lot of practice rounds together. If you think about it, for a lefty, that shot on No. 10 didn’t sit up too badly for him…”
11-23-10 Tiger Wood blog excerpts:

“It’s nice to be home for the holidays after two weeks on the road…
The first stop on my trip was Japan, where I played in a nine-hole, made-for-television pro-am with Ryo Ishikawa… I’ve gotten to know Ryo pretty well… He’s just a great kid. He just won again recently, which I think was his ninth professional win. When I was his age, I was still playing college golf.
Then I went to Shanghai, China, to play in the WGC-HSBC Champions. I had two good bookend rounds but didn’t quite get it done in the middle rounds…
From there, I went to Thailand to play in the World Salutes King Bhumibol skins tournament at Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi against Thongchai Jaidee, Camilo Villegas and Paul Casey. I only won one skin, but the fans were just so nice…
It just takes time to build. You just have to go piece by piece. Before, I couldn’t even do it on the driving range and now I can. Now, after working with Sean Foley, I can do it on the golf course sporadically, then it becomes more consistent. Eventually, it becomes a full 18 holes and beyond that, a full tournament…
Phil Mickelson and I were partners in Ping-Pong most of the time against anybody that wanted to take us on. We didn’t go undefeated, but we won every series…
..the people of Wales were extremely nice and very accommodating. The fans were incredible. They were partisan, obviously, but they were so respectful of both sides and great crowds to play in front of.
I recently hosted the Stanford men’s golf team for a barbecue at my house…
It’s good to see the next generation of players stepping up, because it’s great for the game…
Obviously, this has been a very difficult year for me and my family, on and off the golf course. I got through the year, and I’m in a much better place than I was a year ago and my life has balance. It was a lot more difficult than people could possibly imagine.
That’s all for now. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season.”

For more Famous Types, see my web site list and my blog on Psychology Today.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – Introverted Controversial Questioner


In The Social Contract, Rousseau (1712 – 1778) wrote, “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.” He believed we’re all good by nature but are corrupted by society. Our real teachers are experience and emotion; our institutions mess us up. On the other hand, he thought all citizens should be committed to the general good, even if it means acting against their private or personal interests. For example, we might support a political party that proposes to tax us heavily (if we have a large income!) because we can see the benefit this taxation can bring to all.

What kind of a guy was Rousseau? At the time, they said he was paranoid, a hypochondriac, and insane; he behaved erratically, had sudden changes of mood, oscillated, was disrespectful of others’ humanity, and falsely accused people. He often fell out with his friends and associates: Diderot, Hume, Voltaire, and others. His writings and behavior brought on vicious attacks by others. At the same time, the way his mind operated opened him up to creative ways of viewing the world.

What Enneagram type was Rousseau? His habit of oscillating, his suspicious nature, and that he didn’t like superiors suggest the Questioner type. He felt alienated and would stay to himself. He certainly marched to his own drummer so I would say he was a Questioner with an Observer wing. My second choice would be the Romantic.

When he was in disfavor, the Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg offered him and his partner, Thérèse, a house on their estate near Paris. Living there secluded, Rousseau produced three major works: The New Heloise, probably the most widely read novel of his day; The Social Contract, an influential book on political theory; and Émile, a classic book on education. Émile created problems with the Church in France and was burned in a number of places. Rousseau was forced to leave France for Switzerland, his birthplace, but his citizenship there was revoked as a result of the book. In 1766 he went to England where he fell out with David Hume, and returned to France under a false name.

In his last years, Rousseau completed his Confessions and returned to copying music to make a living, working in the morning and walking and “botanizing”in the afternoon. He loved nature.

I wonder if the following influenced The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle:

“But if there is a state where the soul can find a resting-place secure enough to establish itself and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul. Such is the state which I often experienced on the Island Of Saint-Pierre in my solitary reveries, whether I lay in a boat and drifted where the water carried me, or sat by the shores of the stormy lake, or elsewhere, on the banks of a lovely river or a stream murmuring over the stones.”

Rousseau’s ideal was the independent farmer, free of superiors and self-governing. His critics/peers found this distasteful. They preferred the luxuries of a civilized existence. To make matters worse for them, every new work of Rousseau’s was a tremendous success, whether on politics, theater, education, religion, or love.

See my blog on How to Get Along with an Introvert, Part I on Psychology Today. Part II will be published April 3 in Psychology Today. Also, see my list of Famous Types.

Famous HAPPY INTROVERT: Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite by Elizabeth Wagele

It’s been 7 ½ years since the movie Napoleon Dynamite came out in 2004 and six years since I devoted the appendix of THE HAPPY INTROVERT to the Enneagram types of the movie’s characters. Now the writer and director of the movie, with help, have turned it into a Sunday night animated TV series. The original actors take the parts of the characters’ voices. Napoleon and his brother Kip still live in Idaho—with their grandmother. I haven’t seen the TV show, but from what I’ve read about it, it doesn’t capture the subtle qualities the movie does. It goes for definite jokes instead of the slow, nerdy humor more typical of introverts. The movie’s charm depends on being understated. It doesn’t sound like this series replicates that.

When I first watched the movie on DVD, I almost turned it off after twenty minutes because I was bored. But I came back and watched it again. And again. I started to love Napoleon and his veiled sweetness. He advises his friend in a quiet way, “Just listen to your heart – that’s what I do.” I believe he’s a Peace Seeker type in the Enneagram.

I love Napoleon because he isn’t swayed by what his high school crowd values. He knows who he is and he’s comfortable with himself. His life isn’t about being popular, but about doing his own thing. He’s strong, loyal, virtuous, and doesn’t beat himself up about being grumpy. In fact, for a Peace Seeker to allow himself to be grumpy is an achievement. Most Peace Seekers try to be pleasant most of the time, even when they don’t feel that way.

Napoleon plays a video over and over for many weeks in order to learn how to dance–only because he wants to. He has no reason to tell anyone about it. When he falls in love, he catches his girlfriend a delicious fish—it’s not the usual way to express love, but it’s his way. It comes from his heart.

Napoleon’s style of being in the world is understated. He’s true to himself and his friends. I like hearing him ask kids at school in a monotone voice, “You having a killer time?”

If you want to find out more about introversion or the Enneagram personalities of Napoleon Dynamite, his friend Pedro, his brother Kip, his girlfriend Deb, his uncle Rico, and the kids in his high school you can find out in:

The Happy Introvert, a Wild and Crazy Guide to Your True Self. By Elizabeth Wagele, published by Ulysses Press, Berkeley CA

More famous types can be found on this blog, on my Psychology Today blog, and on my web site.