All Time Famous Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, shattered the mold of the First Lady. Not content with traditional duties, she actively traveled, spoke out on social issues, and redefined the role to be more involved and impactful. After her husband’s death, she continued to serve her country, becoming a delegate to the United Nations and playing a crucial role in crafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Earning the title “First Lady of the World” for her tireless advocacy, she left a lasting legacy on human rights and redefined what it meant to be a powerful woman in politics.

Born into privilege but marked by childhood loss, Eleanor Roosevelt found her own path. Educated in England, she married her distant cousin, Franklin, starting a family while Franklin pursued his political career. Their personal lives became complex when an affair surfaced, ultimately leading to an unspoken agreement for separate pursuits. This opened doors for Eleanor, who embraced social activism, joining labor unions and engaging in state politics, laying the groundwork for her future impact on the national and international stage. Beyond being First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt was a political force in her own right. After overcoming personal challenges and navigating a complex marriage, she became her husband’s rock when illness threatened his career. She campaigned in his place, honed her public persona, and ultimately redefined the role of First Lady through activism and public engagement, leaving a lasting legacy on American politics and society.

Eleanor Roosevelt, though facing initial criticism for her outspokenness, transcended the First Lady’s role. She championed civil rights, women’s equality, and refugee aid. Beyond advocacy, she held press conferences, wrote columns, and even chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights, playing a key role in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By the end, she wasn’t just a First Lady, but a globally respected human rights icon.In 1999, she was ranked ninth in the top ten of Gallup’s List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century and was found to rank as the most admired woman in thirteen different years between 1948 and 1961 in Gallup’s annual most admired woman poll. Periodic surveys conducted by the Siena College Research Institute have consistently seen historians assess Roosevelt as the greatest American First Lady.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

1. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

2. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

3. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

4. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

5. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

6. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

7. “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

8. “Power corrupts. Knowledge is power. Study hard. Be evil.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

9. “True hospitality consists of giving the best of yourself to your guests.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

10. “Poor minds talk about people. Average minds talk about events. Great minds talk about ideas.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

11. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

12. “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

13. “Do one thing every day that scares you. Those small things that make us uncomfortable help us build the courage to do the work we do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

14. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

15. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

16. “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

17. “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

18. “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

19. “Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

20. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

21. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

22. “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

23. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights…”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

24. “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

25. “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

26. “Human resources are the most valuable assets the world has. They are all needed desperately.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

27. “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

28. “Anger is one letter short of danger.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

29. “America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

30. “You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

31. “Great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

32. “Be flexible, but stick to your principles.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

33. “I can’t tell you how to succeed, but I can tell you how to fail: Try to please everybody.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

34. “Some people are going to leave a mark on this world, while others will leave a stain.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

35. “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

36. “The destiny of human rights is in the hands of all our citizens in all our communities.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

37. “The choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

38. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

39. “It is today that we create the world of the future.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

40. “The future is literally in our hands to mold as we like. But we cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

41. “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

42. “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

43. “The greatest gift you can give a child is an imagination.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

44. “A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

45. “All of life is a constant education.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

46. “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

47. “No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

48. “Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says: it can’t be done.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

49. “You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

50. “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

51. “All the water in the world cannot drown you unless it gets inside of you.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

52. “If you lose money you lose much, If you lose friends you lose more, If you lose faith you lose all.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

53. “Life is meant to be lived.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

54. “Understanding is a two-way street.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

55. “Life’s not about expecting, hoping, and wishing. It’s about doing, being, and becoming. It’s about learning from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

56. “Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

57. “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

58. “For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

59. “Develop a skin as thick as a rhinoceros hide!”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

60. “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

61. “If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

62. “Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

63. “The giving of love is an education in itself.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

64. “What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

65. “Education is the cornerstone of liberty.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

66. “Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

67. “Character building begins in our infancy and continues until death.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

68. “When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

69. “Life is like a parachute jump, you’ve got to get it right the first time.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

70. “We all create the person we become by our choices as we go through life. In a real sense, by the time we are adults, we are the sum total of the choices we have made.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

71. “Nobody else is going to do the things which are yours to be done in the world.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

72. “Make the most of What you have, When you have it, Where you are.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

73. “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

74. “Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

75. “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

76. “In business courtesy and efficiency have a symbiotic relationship.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

77. “Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

78. “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

79. “Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. Paradoxically, the one sure way not to be happy is deliberately to map out a way of life in which one would please oneself completely and exclusively.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

80. “About the only value the story of my life may have is to show that one can, even without any particular gifts, overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable if one is willing to face the fact that they must be overcome.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

81. “We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

82. “Since everybody is an individual, nobody can be you. You are unique. No one can tell you how to use your time. It is yours. Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

83. “Poverty is an expensive luxury. We cannot afford it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

84. “Philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

85. “Each generation supposes that the world was simpler for the one before it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

86. “Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply be what is generally called a ‘success.’”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

87. “The most important word in the English language is hope.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

88. “We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

89. “It’s your life-but only if you make it so.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

90. “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

91. “No leader can be too far ahead of his followers.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

92. “Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

93. “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

94. “Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

95. “A great deal of fear is a result of just “not knowing.” We do not know what is involved in a new situation. We do not know whether we can deal with it. The sooner we learn what it entails, the sooner we can dissolve our fear.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

96. “If we do not pay for children in good schools, then we are going to pay for them in prisons and mental hospitals.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

97. “Success must include two things: the development of an individual to his utmost potentiality and a contribution of some kind to one’s world.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

98. “In our country we must trust the people to hear and see both the good and the bad and to choose the good.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

99. “Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

100. “An economic policy which does not consider the well-being of all will not serve the purposes of peace and the growth of well-being among the people of all nations.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

101. “Staying aloof is not a solution, it is a cowardly evasion.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

102. “It is a brave thing to have the courage to be an individual; it is also, perhaps, a lonely thing. But it is better than not being an individual, which is to be nobody at all.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

103. “I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

104. “Somehow we must be able to show people that democracy is not about words, but action.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

105. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

106. “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

107. “Women are like tea bags: put them in hot water and they get stronger.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

108. “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

109. “Be confident, not certain.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

110. “Everyone has the right to work, to free choice, to employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

111. “Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.’”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

112. “I never waste time looking back.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

113. “Some friends leave footprints in your heart.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

114. “I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

115. “Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

116. “It is not more vacation we need – it is more vocation.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

117. “One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

118. “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

119. “Enjoy every minute you have with those you love, my dear, for no one can take joy that is passed away from you. It will be there in your heart to live on when the dark days come.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

120. “The basis of all good human behavior is kindness.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

121. “Lest I keep my complacent way I must remember somewhere out there a person died for me today. As long as there must be war, I ask and I must answer was I worth dying for?”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

122. “What one has to do usually can be done.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

123. “Life has got to be lived – that’s all there is to it. At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that ‘this, too, shall pass!’”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

124. “Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

125. “A guest is really good or bad because of the host or hostess who makes being a guest an easy or a difficult task.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

126. “Life has got to be lived – that’s all there is to it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

127. “The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

128. “When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

129. “If quitting smoking seems hard right now, it is exactly what you should start doing.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

130. “Losing money is a big loss, losing friends is greater than the loss, also lost all faith is lost.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

131. “It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

132. “The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. Love thy neighbor as thyself.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

133. “Never be bored, and you will never be boring.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

134. “Before we can make friends with anyone else, we must first make friends with ourselves.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

135. “To undo mistakes is always harder than not to create them originally, but we seldom have foresight. Therefore, we have no choice but to try to correct our past mistakes.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

136. “You get strength and courage when you stop to look fear in the face.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

137. “If you prepare yourself at every point as well as you can, with whatever means you may have, however meager they may seem, you will be able to grasp the opportunity for broader experience when it appears. Without preparation, you cannot do it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

138. “When it’s better for everyone, it’s better for everyone.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

139. “I can not believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

140. “Government exists for one purpose: to make things better for all people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

141. “I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

142. “Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

143. “We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together, and if we are to live together we have to talk.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

144. “The important thing is neither your nationality nor the religion you professed, but how your faith translated itself in your life.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

145. “More people are ruined by victory, I imagine, than be defeat.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

146. “We will never have peace without friendship around the world.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

147. “Choose a challenge instead of competence.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

148. “What we must learn to do is to create unbreakable bonds between the sciences and the humanities. We cannot procrastinate. The world of the future is in our making. Tomorrow is now.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

149. “No writing has any real value which is not the expression of genuine thought and feeling.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

150. “It is curious how much more interest can be evoked by a mixture of gossip, romance, and mystery than by facts.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

151. “Everybody wants something.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

152. “Most of the work that’s done in the world gets done by people who weren’t feeling all that well at the time that they did it.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

153. “Every time you meet a situation you think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

154. “What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

155. “There is nothing to fear except fear itself.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

156. “Manipulate the situation to create the reality of your desire.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

157. “You do the things that need to be done according to priority.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

158. “Terrific minds focus on tips; average minds go over activities; little minds talk about people today.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

159. “The leisure class is one in which individuals have sufficient economic security and sufficient leisure to find opportunity for a variety of satisfactions in life.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

160. “I am convinced that every effort must be made in childhood to teach the young to use their own minds. For one thing is sure: If they don’t make up their minds, someone will do it for them.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

161. “The word liberal comes from the word free. We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

162. “Sailors have the cleanest bodies and the filthiest minds.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

163. “What I have learned from my own experience is that the most important ingredients in a child’s education are curiosity, interest, imagination, and a sense of the adventure of life.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

164. “Friendship with one’s self is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

165. “I have never felt that anything really mattered but knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

166. “Beautiful old people are works of art.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

167. “We face the future fortified with the lessons we have learned from the past. It is today that we must create the world of the future.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

168. “Change means the unknown.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

169. “Anyone who has gone through great suffering is bound to have a greater sympathy and understanding of the problems of mankind.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

170. “We must be willing to learn the lesson that cooperation may imply compromise, but if it brings a world advance it is a gain for each individual nation.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

171. “The constant pressure to bring about conformity is a dangerous thing.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

172. “Work is always an antidote to depression.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

173. “No, I have never wanted to be a man. I have often wanted to be more effective as a woman, but I have never felt that trousers would do the trick!”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

174. “Curiously enough, it is often the people who refuse to assume any responsibility who are apt to be the sharpest critics of those who do.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

175. “Nearly all great civilizations that perished did so because they had crystallized because they were incapable of adapting themselves to new conditions, new methods, new points of view. It is as though people would rather die than change.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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