All Time Famous Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes

Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes

Dwight David Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969), nicknamed Ike, was an American military officer and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he was Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe and achieved the five-star rank as General of the Army. Eisenhower planned and supervised two of the most consequential military campaigns of World War II: Operation Torch in the North Africa campaign in 1942–1943 and the invasion of Normandy in 1944.

Hailing from a religious family in Kansas, Eisenhower rose from a West Point graduate to become a prominent World War II figure. Denied overseas service in WWI, he trained tank crews before leading invasions in North Africa, Sicily, and ultimately, France and Germany. Post-war, he transitioned from military governor to Army Chief of Staff, even heading Columbia University before becoming NATO’s first supreme commander. This diverse path set the stage for his eventual presidency. Elected in 1952 and 1956 on an anti-communist platform, Eisenhower aimed to curb deficits while containing communism globally. He potentially threatened China with nuclear weapons to end the Korean War and prioritized nuclear deterrence through his “New Look” policy. He supported anti-communist allies like South Vietnam and Taiwan, intervened in Iran and Guatemala, and condemned interventions in Egypt and Hungary. While deploying troops in Lebanon, he faced a canceled summit with the USSR and approved the Bay of Pigs invasion, leaving its execution to his successor.

Eisenhower’s domestic policies leaned moderate, preserving New Deal programs while expanding Social Security. He discreetly challenged McCarthyism and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1957. His administration’s defining feat was the vast Interstate Highway System. Responding to Sputnik, he created NASA and prioritized science education. Despite a brief recession, his era enjoyed economic prosperity. Notably, his farewell address warned against the “military-industrial complex,” solidifying his legacy as a respected, nuanced president.

Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes

1. “Plans are useless, but planning is essential.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

2. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

3. “You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

4. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

5. “The supreme quality for leadership is integrity.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

6. “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

7. “Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

8. “No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

9. “Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

10. “Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

11. “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

12. “The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

13. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

14. “For every obstacle there is a solution. Persistence is the key. The greatest mistake is giving up!”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

15. “Always try to associate yourself with and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

16. “Pessimism never won any battle.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

17. “Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

18. “Before a battle, planning is everything. Once the fighting has begun, it’s worthless.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

19. “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

20. “Every battle is going to surprise you. No plan ever survives contact with the enemy.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

21. “By mutual respect, understanding, and goodwill we can find acceptable solutions to any problems which exist or may arise between us.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

22. “Art is a universal language and through it, each nation makes its own unique contribution to the culture of mankind.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

23. “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

24. “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

25. “If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

26. “Unless we progress, we regress.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

27. “There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

28. “The qualities of a great man are vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

29. “If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

30. “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

31. “You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

32. “Take your job seriously, but not yourself.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

33. “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

34. “The only things worth counting on are people you can count on.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

35. “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

36. “Freedom has been defined as the opportunity for self-discipline.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

37. “No man is worth your tears, but once you find one that is, he won’t make you cry.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

38. “The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

39. “The only way to win World War III is to prevent it.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

40. “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

41. “Every leader should have enough humility to accept, publicly, the responsibility for the mistakes of the subordinates he has himself selected and, likewise, to give them credit, publicly, for their triumphs.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

42. “God, I hate the Germans…”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

43. “We the people, elect leaders not to rule but to serve.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

44. “I’ll tell you what leadership is. It’s persuasion and conciliation, and education, and patience.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

45. “We will accept nothing less than full Victory!”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

46. “It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

47. “Without a doubt, psychological warfare has proven its right to a place of dignity in our military arsenal.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

48. “Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

49. “There are three stages of life: youth, maturity, and ‘My, you’re looking good!’”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

50. “Beware the military-industrial complex.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

51. “The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

52. “Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

53. “Freedom from fear and injustice and oppression will be ours only in the measure that men who value such freedom are ready to sustain its possession – to defend it against every thrust from within or without.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

54. “The sergeant is the Army.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

55. “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

56. “United in this determination and with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

57. “Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels – men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

58. “To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

59. “The final battle against intolerance is to be fought – not in the chambers of any legislature – but in the hearts of men.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

60. “Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

61. “We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

62. “The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

63. “Nothing is easy in war. Mistakes are always paid for in casualties and troops are quick to sense any blunder made by their commanders.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

64. “The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

65. “When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were – to the very last minute – a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

66. “Change based on principle is progress. Constant change without principle becomes chaos.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

67. “There is no victory at bargain basement prices.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

68. “Teachers need our active support and encouragement. They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resource: our children, our future citizens.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

69. “Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

70. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

71. “Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

72. “The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

73. “Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

74. “This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

75. “Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

76. “May the light of freedom, coming to all darkened lands, flame brightly – until at last the darkness is no more.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

77. “I never saw a pessimistic general win a battle.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

78. “We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

79. “Politics is a profession; a serious, complicated and, in its true sense, a noble one.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

80. “Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

81. “The gravity of the time is such that every new avenue of peace, no matter how dimly discernible, should be explored.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

82. “The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

83. “I would rather try to persuade a man to go along because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

84. “Firmness in support of fundamentals, with flexibility in tactics and methods, is the key to any hope of progress in negotiation.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

85. “Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who do not vote.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

86. “I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

87. “Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

88. “Memory should be the starting point of the present.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

89. “No treaty or international agreement can contravene the Constitution.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

90. “Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

91. “In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with the people’s money or their economy or their form of government, be conservative.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

92. “Public opinion wins wars.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

93. “America is best described by one word, freedom.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

94. “If our founding fathers were alive today, they’d roll over in their graves.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

95. “The opportunist thinks of me and today. The statesman thinks of us and tomorrow.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

96. “In order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

97. “Never question another man’s motive. His wisdom, yes, but not his motives.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

98. “There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

99. “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

100. “Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

101. “If I didn’t have air supremacy, I wouldn’t be here.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

102. “A constitutional amendment for congressional term limits could never achieve the blessing of Congress; it could be initiated only by the states.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

103. “The eyes of the world are upon you…”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

104. “Compromise is like the middle of the road; always safer to walk on than the edges.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

105. “Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

106. “Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

107. “We look upon this shaken earth, and we declare our firm and fixed purpose-the building of a peace with justice in a world where moral law prevails.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

108. “There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

109. “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

110. “Among these treasures of our land is water-fast becoming our most valuable, most prized, most critical resource. A blessing where properly used-but can bring devastation and ruin when left uncontrolled.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

111. “Science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

112. “The essence of war is fire, famine, and pestilence. They contribute to its outbreak; they are among its weapons; they become its consequences.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

113. “Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. I would not even listen to anyone seriously that came and talked about such a thing.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

114. “When pressure mounts and strain increases everyone begins to show the weaknesses in his makeup. It is up to the Commander to conceal his: above all to conceal doubt, fear, and distrust.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

115. “We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

116. “Never lose your temper, except intentionally.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

117. “Don’t join the book burners. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

118. “Preparing for battle, plans were essential. But once the battle was joined, plans were useless.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

119. “Laughter can relieve tension, soothe the pain of disappointment, and strengthen the spirit for the formidable tasks that always lie ahead.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

120. “Never be more scared of the enemy than you think he is of you.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

121. “Well, it’s hard for a mere man to believe that women don’t have equal rights.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

122. “Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

123. “Only by trusting in God can a man carrying responsibility find repose.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

124. “It is well for us to pause, to acknowledge our debt to those who paid so large a share of freedom’s price.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

125. “We reject any idea that one race of people is in any way better than another.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

126. “You can’t have this kind of war. There just aren’t enough bulldozers to scrape the bodies off the streets.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

127. “Disorganization can scarcely fail to result in efficiency.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

128. “When you put on a uniform, there are certain inhibitions that you accept.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

129. “Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

130. “War is a grim, cruel business, a business justified only as a means of sustaining the forces of good against those of evil.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

131. “But all history has taught us the grim lesson that no nation has ever been successful in avoiding the terrors of war by refusing to defend its rights – by attempting to placate aggression.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

132. “Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

133. “In the highest sense, the Bible is to us the unique repository of eternal spiritual truths.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

134. “We face a hostile ideology global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose and insidious in method.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

135. “The hand of the aggressor is stayed by strength-and strength alone.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

136. “First, separate ground, sea, and air warfare is gone forever. If ever again we should be involved in war, we will fight it in all elements, with all services, as one single concentrated effort.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

137. “The true purpose of education is to prepare young men and women for effective citizenship in a free form of government.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

138. “I am inclined by nature to be optimistic about the capacity of a person to rise higher than he or she has thought possible once interest and ambition are aroused.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

139. “You have a row of dominoes set up; you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is that it will go over very quickly.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

140. “No man can always be right. So the struggle is to do one’s best, to keep the brain and conscience clear, never be swayed by unworthy motives or inconsequential reasons, but to strive to unearth the basic factors involved, then do one’s duty.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

141. “For a just and lasting peace, here is my solemn pledge to you: by dedication and patience we will continue, as long as I remain your President, to work for this simple – this single – this exclusive goal.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

142. “The speed, accuracy and devastating power of American Artillery won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported and inspired fear and respect in their enemy.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

143. “The world moves, and ideas that were once good are not always good.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

144. “We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

145. “Things have never been more like the way they are today in history.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

146. “I despise all adjectives that try to describe people as liberal or conservative, rightist or leftist, as long as they stay in the useful part of the road.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

147. “The more baseball the better. It is a healthful sport and develops team play and initiative, plus an independent attitude.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

148. “Don’t be afraid to go to your library and read every book as long as any document does not offend your own ideas of decency.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

149. “Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

150. “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”
— Dwight D. Eisenhower

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