The 20 Best Eleanor Roosevelt Quotations

By: Katie Armour

In honor of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt (1844-1962), a few of our favorite Eleanor quotes...


1. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."


2. "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."


3. "For it isn't enough to talk of peace. One must believe it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it."


4. "You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."


5. "A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water."


6. "One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes."


7. "The giving of love is an education in itself."


8. "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."


9. "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."


10. "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face."


11. "Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people."


12. "Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart."


13. "People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built."


14. "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."


15. "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."


16. "Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product."


17. "Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."


18. "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan."


19. "I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday."


20. "What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?"


(photo: Eleanor broadcasts on NBC radio in 1948)