Tony Buzan - Inventor of Mind Mapping

Inventor of Mind Mapping | Brain Expert | Best-Selling Author | Renowned Speaker | Government Consultant

Tony Buzan is the world-renowned inventor of Mind Mapping and expert on the brain, memory, speed reading, creativity and innovation. He has been named as one of the world’s top 5 speakers by Forbes magazine.


Through over 40 years of research into the workings of the brain, Tony Buzan is dedicating his life to developing and refining techniques to help individuals think better and more creatively, and reach their full potential. He has awakened the brains of millions worldwide.


Described as “one of the most influential leaders in the field of thinking creatively”, Tony utilises his accredited training courses to build a network of highly specialised experts in creative thinking, memory and speed reading techniques. Tony Buzan imparts his knowledge and expertise on the three ThinkBuzan Licensed Instructor courses in Mind Mapping, Memory and Speed Reading, which he both leads and accredits. The ThinkBuzan accredited training courses bring practical skills to delegates all over the world including individuals from FTSE multinational corporations, leading global universities and Government departments.

So often people ask me ‘who is the real Tony Buzan‘?


My Story

Tony Buzan was born at the Brookfield Park Nursing Home, Palmers Green, London N13 on Tuesday 2nd June 1942. His birth was registered on the same day.


A box of family memorabilia reveals a yellowing newspaper cutting, which announces the birth of Anthony Peter to his proud parents, Jean (née Burn) and Gordon Buzan, of Shangri-la, Western Drive, Shepperton. To me, the name of their house leapt from the print like a neon sign. Tony’s favourite hotel is the Shangri-la in Singapore, and it has become a veritable home-from-home whenever he is there. It appears that this imaginary utopian valley, or certainly his own version of it, has been a constant presence on his life’s journey. This is reflected in his perennially optimistic nature and positive attitude towards other people in encouraging them to achieve their potential.


Amongst the other treasures in the box is The Progress Book, which the young Jean Buzan started to complete in 1946 (she meticulously notes…’Up to 4 years of age records have had to depend upon memory and available notes as book only purchased then’…). Tony’s mother refers to ‘Truby King’ on page 71, in reference to feeding. Child rearing in the 1940s reflected the more scientific approach advocated by Professor Sir Frederick Truby King, and later, also by his adopted daughter’s (Mary Truby King) book published in 1934, entitled Mothercraft. Being a Truby King baby myself, I am not surprised that Baby Record books per se were more didactic in tone than those we are familiar with today.


However, it is precisely this template for nurturing that makes The Progress Book such a revelatory volume, packed with fascinating facts and background information about Tony’s early years.


Was Tony destined for fame and fortune? Well, this does seem to be the case. Each year, from 1947 until 1963, Tony has recorded his signature on the ‘Annual Autograph Record’ page. He had pretty much perfected his signature by the age of 17, when it became ‘Tony’ instead of ‘Anthony’.


Perhaps the best indication of Tony’s burgeoning talent and the direction his life would eventually take, is shown in his mother’s own words:


…’Has shown intelligence beyond his years from a very early age.
Extremely logical and literal mind… Extraordinarily exact memory’…


Jean Buzan also notes that, as a baby, Tony had enjoyed coloured beads and wooden disks but that he ‘never took much notice of soft toys at all’. However, it is clear from his first-ever book, A Book About My Pets by Anthony Buzan Aged 8 years, that he adored the real thing. Paddy the cat and Pongo the rabbit were close friends for a long time but then the sad day arrived when Pongo died. Tony records that:


…’Dear old Pongo has died and I am saving up £5-10-0d for him to be stuffed by a taxidermist’…

This was a pretty determined decision for Master Buzan Aged 8 years, so I decided to check with Tony whether he had been successful in putting Pongo’s physical departure on ‘hold’. He told me that he had indeed been stuffed, and that Pongo had accompanied him on many of his travels until 1982 when his condition had deteriorated to such an extent that a decent burial was needed. So, Pongo was finally laid to rest among the bluebells by the banks of the Thames, the setting for Kenneth Graham’s The Wind in the Willows. Tony’s sheer force of will meant the loyal rabbit companion of his boyhood had remained with him until he was in his 40s.


The bond between Tony and his cat, Paddy, was equally strong (although Paddy did not make a visit to the taxidermist). His mother wrote that when stroking Paddy, he had said:

…’it makes me nearly have tears in my eyes – he’s so sweet and I love him so’…


His love of animals has remained with him ever since.


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Coat of Arms

On 26th day of August 2008, Tony Buzan was granted Armorial Bearings by Her Majesty’s College of Arms.


One of the many thrilling aspects of being granted Armorial Bearings is the challenge of creating, in a single formalised image, a summary of the main elements and aspirations of one’s entire life.


A daunting task…


Tony had an expert team to help him, including Thomas Woodcock, Norroy College of Arms, Robert Parsons, Senior College of Arms artist, Grand Master Raymond Keene, an expert in the field, the artist Lorraine Gill and the Visio-technologist Richard Morris.


Tony Buzan - Coat of Arms

The team met regularly for a year and produced a unique Coat of Arms. Shortly after the successful completion of the Coat of Arms, Robert Parsons was made an MBE for his life-long excellence in producing artwork for Armorial Bearings, and Thomas Woodcock was promoted to Garter King of Arms – the most senior position in the field.


Download Full Guide on creation [PDF]





Who’s Who CV 2018

Find out more about the many lives of Tony Buzan by reading Tony’s Who’s Who entry as it appeared in the 2018 edition. Those individuals included in Who’s Who are selected by the publication as being those who are among the 33,000 top ‘people of influence and interest in all fields’ in the world.


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