All Time Famous John F. Kennedy Quotes

John F. Kennedy Quotes

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, served from 1961 until his assassination in 1963. Born in 1917 into a prominent political family, he demonstrated leadership during World War II and later entered politics, representing Massachusetts in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Elected in 1960, Kennedy’s presidency saw pivotal moments, including the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and advancements in civil rights. He established the Peace Corps and inspired the nation with his vision for space exploration. Tragically, he was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, leaving a lasting legacy as a charismatic leader and advocate for progress, civil rights, and global cooperation.

John F. Kennedy Quotes

1. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”
— John F. Kennedy

2. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
— John F. Kennedy

3. “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
— John F. Kennedy

4. “The rising tide lifts all the boats.”
— John F. Kennedy

5. “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.”
— John F. Kennedy

6. “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.”
— John F. Kennedy

7. “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”
— John F. Kennedy

8. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”
— John F. Kennedy

9. “To those whom much is given, much is expected.”
— John F. Kennedy

10. “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”
— John F. Kennedy

11. “Change is the law of life.”
— John F. Kennedy

12. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
— John F. Kennedy

13. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
— John F. Kennedy

14. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
— John F. Kennedy

15. “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”
— John F. Kennedy

16. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
— John F. Kennedy

17. “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”
— John F. Kennedy

18. “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”
— John F. Kennedy

19. “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
— John F. Kennedy

20. “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”
— John F. Kennedy

21. “Man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”
— John F. Kennedy

22. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
— John F. Kennedy

23. “Civility is not a sign of weakness.”
— John F. Kennedy

24. “When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.”
— John F. Kennedy

25. “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
— John F. Kennedy

26. “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
— John F. Kennedy

27. “There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change.”
— John F. Kennedy

28. “Partnership is not a posture but a process-a continuous process that grows stronger each year as we devote ourselves to common tasks.”
— John F. Kennedy

29. “Life isn’t fair. In never was and never will be.”
— John F. Kennedy

30. “I will splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.”
— John F. Kennedy

31. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.”
— John F. Kennedy

32. “And with privilege goes responsibility.”
— John F. Kennedy

33. “All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us should have an equal opportunity to develop our talent.”
— John F. Kennedy

34. “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”
— John F. Kennedy

35. “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”
— John F. Kennedy

36. “A boy spends his time finding a girl to sleep with. A real man spends his time looking for the one worth waking up to.”
— John F. Kennedy

37. “We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.”
— John F. Kennedy

38. “No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”
— John F. Kennedy

39. “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
— John F. Kennedy

40. “Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.”
— John F. Kennedy

41. “We celebrate the past to awaken the future.”
— John F. Kennedy

42. “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
— John F. Kennedy

43. “Anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science.”
— John F. Kennedy

44. “Most cities are nouns. New York’s a verb.”
— John F. Kennedy

45. “Our task is not to fix blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future.”
— John F. Kennedy

46. “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.”
— John F. Kennedy

47. “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.”
— John F. Kennedy

48. “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
— John F. Kennedy

49. “Without debate, without criticism no administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive.”
— John F. Kennedy

50. “Never let your fears hold you back from pursuing your hopes.”
— John F. Kennedy

51. “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”
— John F. Kennedy

52. “I know there is a God – I see the storm coming and I see his hand in it – if he has a place then I am ready – we see the hand.”
— John F. Kennedy

53. “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”
— John F. Kennedy

54. “Physical Fitness is the basis for all other forms of excellence.”
— John F. Kennedy

55. “The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
— John F. Kennedy

56. “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
— John F. Kennedy

57. “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”
— John F. Kennedy

58. “Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong.”
— John F. Kennedy

59. “Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for other women because they’re too busy looking for new ways to love their own.”
— John F. Kennedy

60. “Food is strength, and food is peace, and food is freedom, and food is a helping hand to people around the world whose good will and friendship we want.”
— John F. Kennedy

61. “Every area of trouble gives out a ray of hope, and the one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable.”
— John F. Kennedy

62. “According to the ancient Chinese proverb, A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
— John F. Kennedy

63. “If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.”
— John F. Kennedy

64. “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.”
— John F. Kennedy

65. “The problems with this world cannot possibly be solved by sceptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need people who can dream of things that never were.”
— John F. Kennedy

66. “It is not our wealth that built our roads, but it is our roads that built our wealth.”
— John F. Kennedy

67. “I think the success of any school can be measured by the contribution the alumni make to our national life.”
— John F. Kennedy

68. “Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.”
— John F. Kennedy

69. “We can have faith in the future only if we have faith in ourselves.”
— John F. Kennedy

70. “There’s a plot in this country to enslave every man, woman, and child. Before I leave this high and noble office, I intend to expose this plot.”
— John F. Kennedy

71. “Great crisis produces great men and great deeds of courage.”
— John F. Kennedy

72. “I’m an idealist without illusions.”
— John F. Kennedy

73. “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.”
— John F. Kennedy

74. “The only reason to give a speech is to change the world.”
— John F. Kennedy

75. “So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.”
— John F. Kennedy

76. “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
— John F. Kennedy

77. “Sincerity is always subject to proof.”
— John F. Kennedy

78. “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”
— John F. Kennedy

79. “We must abolish nuclear weapons, or they will abolish us.”
— John F. Kennedy

80. “We must seek, above all, a world of peace; a world in which peoples dwell together in mutual respect and work together in mutual regard.”
— John F. Kennedy

81. “Here on earth, God’s work must surely be our own.”
— John F. Kennedy

82. “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
— John F. Kennedy

83. “Only an educated and informed people will be a free people.”
— John F. Kennedy

84. “The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.”
— John F. Kennedy

85. “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.”
— John F. Kennedy

86. “World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor – it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.”
— John F. Kennedy

87. “The best road to progress is freedom’s road.”
— John F. Kennedy

88. “The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.”
— John F. Kennedy

89. “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”
— John F. Kennedy

90. “Time and the world do not stand still. Change is the law of life.”
— John F. Kennedy

91. “When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
— John F. Kennedy

92. “Liberty without Learning is always in peril and Learning without Liberty is always in vain.”
— John F. Kennedy

93. “The earth, the sea and air are the concern of every nation. And science, technology, and education can be the ally of every nation.”
— John F. Kennedy

94. “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”
— John F. Kennedy

95. “It is time for a new generation of leadership, to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won.”
— John F. Kennedy

96. “Failure has no friends.”
— John F. Kennedy

97. “The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.”
— John F. Kennedy

98. “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.”
— John F. Kennedy

99. “The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.”
— John F. Kennedy

100. “Never before has man had such a great capacity to control his own environment, to end hunger, poverty and disease, to banish illiteracy and human misery. We have the power to make the best generation of mankind in the history of the world.”
— John F. Kennedy

101. “Automation does not need to be our enemy. I think machines can make life easier for men, if men do not let the machines dominate them.”
— John F. Kennedy

102. “Just because we cannot see clearly te end of the road, that is no reason for not setting out on the essential journey.”
— John F. Kennedy

103. “Everything changes but change itself.”
— John F. Kennedy

104. “The only unchangeable certainty in life is that nothing is unchangeable or certain.”
— John F. Kennedy

105. “The Greeks understood that mind and body must develop in harmounious proportions to produce a creative intelligence.”
— John F. Kennedy

106. “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.”
— John F. Kennedy

107. “Democracy may not be perfect, but at least I don’t have to build a wall to keep my people in.”
— John F. Kennedy

108. “Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed.”
— John F. Kennedy

109. “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.”
— John F. Kennedy

110. “There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side, and seeking influence without responsibility.”
— John F. Kennedy

111. “We want to be first; not first if, not first but; but first!”
— John F. Kennedy

112. “We are under-exercised as a nation. We look instead of play. We ride instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living.”
— John F. Kennedy

113. “As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats. And a partnership, by definition, serves both partners, without domination or unfair advantage. Together we have been partners in adversity us also be partners in prosperity.”
— John F. Kennedy

114. “Economic growth without social progress lets the great majority of the people remain in poverty, while a privileged few reap the benefits of rising abundance.”
— John F. Kennedy

115. “We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve.”
— John F. Kennedy

116. “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.”
— John F. Kennedy

117. “In a time of turbulence and change, it is more true than ever that knowledge is power.”
— John F. Kennedy

118. “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”
— John F. Kennedy

119. “Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.”
— John F. Kennedy

120. “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.”
— John F. Kennedy

121. “The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.”
— John F. Kennedy

122. “Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both.”
— John F. Kennedy

123. “But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask; why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?”
— John F. Kennedy

124. “If more politicians knew poetry and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live.”
— John F. Kennedy

125. “In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.”
— John F. Kennedy

126. “We need men who can dream of things that never were.”
— John F. Kennedy

127. “Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.”
— John F. Kennedy

128. “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man.”
— John F. Kennedy

129. “Justice delayed is democracy denied.”
— John F. Kennedy

130. “It is time for a new generation of leadership.”
— John F. Kennedy

131. “Divided, there is little we can do. Together, there is little we cannot do.”
— John F. Kennedy

132. “When asked what I am most proud of, I stick out my chest, hold my head high and state proudly, ‘I served in the United States Navy!’”
— John F. Kennedy

133. “Hold fast to the best of the past and move fast to the best of the future.”
— John F. Kennedy

134. “We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first revolution.”
— John F. Kennedy

135. “The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.”
— John F. Kennedy

136. “The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion.”
— John F. Kennedy

137. “Politics is a jungle torn between doing the right thing and staying in office.”
— John F. Kennedy

138. “The United States has to move very fast to even stand still.”
— John F. Kennedy

139. “The freedom of the city is not negotiable. We cannot negotiate with those who say, ‘What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.’”
— John F. Kennedy

140. “History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”
— John F. Kennedy

141. “The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.”
— John F. Kennedy

142. “Harvard gave me an education, but Junior Chamber gave me an education for life.”
— John F. Kennedy

143. “Certain other societies may respect the rule of force – we respect the rule of law.”
— John F. Kennedy

144. “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. And therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words ‘Ich bin ein Berliner!’”
— John F. Kennedy

145. “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength of the nation.”
— John F. Kennedy

146. “For to save mankind’s future freedom, we must face up to any necessary risk. We will always seek peace – but we will never surrender.”
— John F. Kennedy

147. “There is nothing, I think, more unfortunate than having soft, chubby, fat-looking children who go to watch their school play basketball every Saturday and regard that as their week’s exercise.”
— John F. Kennedy

148. “Democracy is never a final achievement. It is a call to an untiring effort.”
— John F. Kennedy

149. “There are three things in life which are real: God, human folly and laughter. Since the first two are beyond our comprehension, we must do what we can with the third.”
— John F. Kennedy

150. “What really counts is not the immediate act of courage or of valor, but those who bear the struggle day in and day out – not the sunshine patriots but those who are willing to stand for a long period.”
— John F. Kennedy

151. “With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking his blessing and his help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
— John F. Kennedy

152. “We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.”
— John F. Kennedy

153. “The most powerful single force in the world today is neither Communism nor Capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile – it is man’s eternal desire to be free and independent.”
— John F. Kennedy

154. “It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.”
— John F. Kennedy

155. “Moral courage is more a rare commodity than bravery in a battle or great intelligence.”
— John F. Kennedy

156. “Success has many fathers.”
— John F. Kennedy

157. “It is an unfortunate fact that we can secure peace only by preparing for war.”
— John F. Kennedy

158. “Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.”
— John F. Kennedy

159. “Knowledge of the oceans is more than a matter of curiosity. Our very survival may hinge upon it.”
— John F. Kennedy

160. “Ask not that the journey be easy; ask instead that it be worth it.”
— John F. Kennedy

161. “We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.”
— John F. Kennedy

162. “There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race.”
— John F. Kennedy

163. “The Jewish people, ever since David slew Goliath, have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership.”
— John F. Kennedy

164. “A country is as strong, really, as its citizens. And I think that mental and physical health – mental and physical vigor – go hand in hand.”
— John F. Kennedy

165. “The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet.”
— John F. Kennedy

166. “I would rather be accused of breaking precedents than breaking promises.”
— John F. Kennedy

167. “Life in freedom is not easy, and democracy is not perfect.”
— John F. Kennedy

168. “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”
— John F. Kennedy

169. “We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world or to make it the last.”
— John F. Kennedy

170. “When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.”
— John F. Kennedy

171. “Never have the nations of the world had so much to lose or so much to gain. Together we shall save our planet, or together we shall perish in its flames.”
— John F. Kennedy

172. “First I believe that this Nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon.”
— John F. Kennedy

173. “We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than choice, the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.”
— John F. Kennedy

174. “Those who do nothing are inviting shame as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognizing right as well as reality.”
— John F. Kennedy

175. “There’s an old saying. Never send a boy to do a man’s job, send a lady.”
— John F. Kennedy

176. “The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring this endeavor will light our bounty and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.”
— John F. Kennedy

177. “Jika politik itu kotor, puisi akan membersihkannya. Jika politik bengkok, sastra akan meluruskannya.”
— John F. Kennedy

178. “We will neglect our cities to our peril, for in neglecting them we neglect the nation.”
— John F. Kennedy

179. “Compromise does not mean cowardice.”
— John F. Kennedy

180. “This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.”
— John F. Kennedy

181. “Our privileges can be no greater than our obligations. The protection of our rights can endure no longer than the performance of our responsibilities.”
— John F. Kennedy

182. “Only in winter can you tell which trees are truly green. Only when the winds of adversity blow can you tell whether an individual or a country has steadfastness.”
— John F. Kennedy

183. “Show me a man with a great golf game, and I’ll show you a man who has been neglecting something.”
— John F. Kennedy

184. “Our alliance is born, not of fear, but of hope. It is an alliance that advances what we are for, as well as opposes what we are against.”
— John F. Kennedy

185. “Aggressive conduct, if allowed to go unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”
— John F. Kennedy

186. “The US Airforce assures me that UFOs pose no threat to National Security.”
— John F. Kennedy

187. “Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors.”
— John F. Kennedy

188. “A wall is a hell of a lot better than a war.”
— John F. Kennedy

189. “Diplomacy and defense are not substitutes for one another. Either alone would fail.”
— John F. Kennedy

190. “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”
— John F. Kennedy

191. “Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.”
— John F. Kennedy

192. “The basis of effective government is public confidence, and that confidence is endangered when ethical standards falter or appear to falter.”
— John F. Kennedy

193. “Let the word go forth from this time and place to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans – born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace.”
— John F. Kennedy

194. “For I can assure you that we love our country, not for what it was, though it has always been great – not for what it is, though of this we are deeply proud – but for what it someday can, and, through the efforts of us all, someday will be.”
— John F. Kennedy

195. “Immigration policy should be generous; it should be fair; it should be flexible. With such a policy we can turn to the world, and to our own past, with clean hands and a clear conscience.”
— John F. Kennedy

196. “I think the American people expect more from us than cries of indignation and attack. The times are too grave, the challenge too urgent, and the stakes too high – to permit the customary passions of political debate.”
— John F. Kennedy

197. “Libraries should be open to all – except the censor.”
— John F. Kennedy

198. “Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions.”
— John F. Kennedy

199. “Race has no place in American life or law.”
— John F. Kennedy

200. “Sailing has given me some of the most pleasant and exciting moments of my life. It also has taught me something of the courage, resourcefulness, and strength of men who sail the seas in ships.”
— John F. Kennedy

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