Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884 – 1962

Born: 11 October 1884, New York City
Died: 7 November 1962, New York City

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born at New York City on this day in 1884. When she was eight her mother died and her father was confined in a sanitarium and died two years later. She was tutored at home and, at 15, sent to Allenswood Academy outside London. In 1903 she was engaged to a fifth cousin, Franklin and married him in 1905. Although her relationship with her uncle Theodore was always positive, her marriage into the “Hyde Park” Roosevelts put her at odd with most of her own family, the “Oyster Bay” Roosevelts. After FDR contracted polio in 1921, Eleanor began to move confidently in New York state Democratic circles, initially representing her husband but developing her own public stature. She was the most active and public first lady, holding weekly news conferences and writing a weekly column. She traveled widely, representing the administration with those most affected by the Depression, and served hot dogs to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1939. During the war she visited wounded soldiers, including in the south Pacific and was active in support of women and blacks serving in the war effort. She was US delegate to the United Nations from 1947-1952, and remained public and vocal, serving as a trustee of Brandeis University and Chaired the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She received 48 honorary degrees.

Eleanor Roosevelt quotes:

A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – You Learn by Living (1960)

A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Anger is one letter away from danger.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Anyone who thinks must think of the next war as they would of suicide.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

At all times, day by day, we have to continue fighting for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom from want — for these are things that must be gained in peace as well as in war.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (15 April 1943)

Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Do whatever comes your way as well as you can. Think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people and other things that are interesting. Put a good deal of thought into happiness that you are able to give.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

During prohibition I observed the law meticulously, but I came gradually to see that laws are only observed with the consent of the individuals concerned and a moral change still depends on the individual and not on the passage of any law.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (14 July 1939)

Experience should teach us that it is always the unexpected that does occur.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – You Learn by Living (1960)

Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Human resources are the most valuable assets the world has. They are all needed desperately.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – Tomorrow Is Now (1963)

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

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

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

I have a great belief in spiritual force, but I think we have to realize that spiritual force alone has to have material force with it so long as we live in a material world. The two together make a strong combination.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (17 May 1940)

I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (8 November 1944)

I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

I think I have a good deal of my Uncle Theodore in me, because I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

I think somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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 would be curiosity.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

I used to tell my husband that, if he could make me ‘understand’ something, it would be clear to all the other people in the country.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

I was one of those who was very happy when the original prohibition amendment passed. I thought innocently that a law in this country would automatically be complied with, and my own observation led me to feel rather ardently that the less strong liquor anyone consumed the better it was.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (14 July 1939)

I would not be very much surprised if some writers or actors or stagehands, or what not, were found to have Communist leanings, but I was surprised to find that, at the start of the inquiry, some of the big producers were so chicken-hearted about speaking up for the freedom of their industry.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (29 October 1947)

I’m so glad I never feel important, it does complicate life!
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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

If man is to be liberated to enjoy more leisure, he must also be prepared to enjoy this leisure fully and creatively.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (5 November 1958)

If the use of leisure time is confined to looking at TV for a few extra hours every day, we will deteriorate as a people.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (5 November 1958)

If we want a free and peaceful world, if we want to make the deserts bloom and man grow to greater dignity as a human being, we can do it.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

If you have any interests you can gain a wider audience for those interests while the goldfish bowl is yours.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

In all our contacts it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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 – My Day (29 October 1947)

In the long run there is no more exhilarating experience than to determine one’s position, state it bravely and then act boldly.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – Tomorrow Is Now (1963)

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

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

It is not more vacation we need – it is more vocation.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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 – Voice of America broadcast (11 November 1951)

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (1 April 1939)

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – Preface to The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt (1961)

Little by little it dawned upon me that this law was not making people drink any less, but it was making hypocrites and law breakers of a great number of people.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (14 July 1939)

Long ago, I made up my mind that when things were said involving only me, I would pay no attention to them, except when valid criticism was carried by which I could profit.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (14 January 1942)

Marriage and the up-bringing of children in the home require as well-trained a mind and as well-disciplined a character as any other occupation that might be considered a career.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

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

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – This Is My Story (1937)

No one from the beginning of time has had security.
    Eleanor Roosevelt

No writing has any real value which is not the expression of genuine thought and feeling.
    Eleanor Roosevelt – My Day (20 December 1939)

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