Famous Quotes By Theodore Roosevelt


  1. A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.
  2. A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards.
  3. A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.
  4. A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues.
  5. Absence and death are the same - only that in death there is no suffering.
  6. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.
  7. Believe you can and you're halfway there.
  8. Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.
  9. Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.
  10. Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.
  11. Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.
  12. Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
  13. Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
  14. For unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.
  15. Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past.
  16. Germany has reduced savagery to a science, and this great war for the victorious peace of justice must go on until the German cancer is cut clean out of the world body.
  17. Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.
  18. I am only an average man but, by George, I work harder at it than the average man.
  19. I don't pity any man who does hard work worth doing. I admire him. I pity the creature who does not work, at whichever end of the social scale he may regard himself as being.
  20. I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
  21. If there is not the war, you don't get the great general if there is not a great occasion, you don't get a great statesman if Lincoln had lived in a time of peace, no one would have known his name.
  22. In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
  23. It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that, in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.
  24. It is difficult to make our material condition better by the best law, but it is easy enough to ruin it by bad laws.
  25. It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
  26. Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.
  27. Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.
  28. Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.
  29. No great intellectual thing was ever done by great effort.
  30. No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.
  31. Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you've got to start young.
  32. People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.
  33. Rhetoric is a poor substitute for action, and we have trusted only to rhetoric. If we are really to be a great nation, we must not merely talk we must act big.
  34. Some men can live up to their loftiest ideals without ever going higher than a basement.
  35. The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
  36. The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.
  37. The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his own weight.
  38. The government is us we are the government, you and I.
  39. The man who loves other countries as much as his own stands on a level with the man who loves other women as much as he loves his own wife.
  40. The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.
  41. The most practical kind of politics is the politics of decency.
  42. The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits.
  43. The reactionary is always willing to take a progressive attitude on any issue that is dead.
  44. The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.
  45. There has never yet been a man in our history who led a life of ease whose name is worth remembering.
  46. To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
  47. Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided but they are far better than certain kinds of peace.
  48. When you play, play hard when you work, don't play at all.
  49. With self-discipline most anything is possible.

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