Fayol was born in 1841 in a suburb of Istanbul, Ottoman Empire. His father (an engineer) was appointed superintendent of works to build the Galata Bridge, which bridged theGolden Horn. The family returned to France in 1847, where Fayol graduated from the mining academy "École Nationale Supérieure des Mines" in Saint-Étienne in 1860.
In 1860 at the age of nineteen Fayol started the mining company named "Compagnie de Commentry-Fourchambault-Decazeville" in Commentry as the mining engineer. In 1888 he became managing director, when the mine company employed over 10,000 people, and held that position over 30 years until 1918. By 1900 the company was one of the largest producers of iron and steel in France and was regarded as a vital industry.
Based largely on his own management experience, he developed his concept of administration. In 1916 he published these experience in the book "Administration Industrielle et Générale"
1930. Industrial and General Administration. Translated by J.A. Coubrough, London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons.
1949. General and Industrial Management. Translated by C. Storrs, Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, London.
Articles, translated, a selection
1900. "Henri Fayol addressed his colleagues in the mineral industry 23 June 1900." Translated by J.A. Coubrough. In: Fayol (1930) Industrial and General Administration. pp. 79–81 (Republished in: Wren, Bedeian & Breeze, (2002) "The foundations of Henri Fayol’s administrative theory")
1909. "L’exposee des principles generaux