Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Eleanor Roosevelt. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933, to April 12, 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest-serving First Lady of the United States. Roosevelt served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952. President Harry S. Truman later called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Roosevelt was a member of the prominent American Roosevelt and Livingston families and a niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. She had an unhappy childhood, having suffered the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers at a young age. At 15, she attended Allenswood Boarding Academy in London and was deeply influenced by its headmistress Marie Souvestre. Returning to the U.S., she married her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1905. The Roosevelts' marriage was complicated from the beginning by Franklin's controlling mother, Sara, and after Eleanor discovered her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer in 1918, she resolved to seek fulfillment in leading a public life of her own. She persuaded Franklin to stay in politics after he was stricken with a paralytic illness in 1921, which cost him the normal use of his legs, and began giving speeches and appearing at campaign events in his place. Following Franklin's election as Governor of New York in 1928, and throughout the remainder of Franklin's public career in government, Roosevelt regularly made public appearances on his behalf; and as First Lady, while her husband served as president, she significantly reshaped and redefined the role of First Lady.
Though widely respected in her later years, Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady at the time for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights for African-Americans. She was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column, write a monthly magazine column, host a weekly radio show, and speak at a national party convention. On a few occasions, she publicly disagreed with her husband's policies. She launched an experimental community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, for the families of unemployed miners, later widely regarded as a failure. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees. Following her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt remained active in politics for the remaining 17 years of her life. She pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became its first delegate. She served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Later, she chaired the John F. Kennedy administration's Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. By the time of her death, Roosevelt was regarded as "one of the most esteemed women in the world"; The New York Times called her "the object of almost universal respect" in an obituary.
In 1999, she was ranked ninth in the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Too many of us stay walled in because we are afraid of being hurt. We are afraid to care too much; for fear that the other person does not care as much or not at all.
Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.
Those who attack always do so with greater fervor than those who defend.
Character building begins in infancy and continues until death.
Friendship with one's self is all important, because without it, one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
No relationship in this world ever remains warm and close unless good effort is made on both sides to keep it so.
None of us can afford to stop learning or to check our curiosity about new things, or to lose our humility in the face of new situations.
Each generation supposes that the world was simpler for the one before it.
To be a citizen in a democracy, a human being must be given a healthy start.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway.
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.
Poverty is an expensive luxury. We cannot afford it.
Good leaders inspire people to have confidence in their leader. Great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves.
Conservation of land and conservation of people frequently go hand in hand.
Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends leave footprints in your heart.
I do not think that I am a natural born mother... If I ever wanted to mother anyone, it was my father.
I think I lived those years very impersonally. It was almost as though I had erected someone outside myself who was the president's wife. I was lost somewhere deep down inside myself. That is the way I felt and worked until I left the White House.
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 opportunity for broader experience when it appears. Without preparation you cannot do it.
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.
It is impossible to be a cynic if you live a good deal with young people. Fundamentally, every young person has a feeling that the future is going to hold something of value.
In business courtesy and efficiency have a symbiotic relationship.
Furnish an example, stop preaching, stop shielding, don't prevent self-reliance and initiative, allow your children to develop along their own lines.
Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.
When you build a memorial, you build it not because the person wanted it, but for the future -- for generations who didn't know the man and didn't know the era in which he lived.
If you have any interests you can gain a wider audience for those interests while the goldfish bowl is yours!
I could never say in the morning, I have a headache and cannot do thus and so. Headache or no headache, thus and so had to be done.
The basis of all good human behavior is kindness.
Criticism ... makes very little dent upon me, unless I think there is some real justification and something should be done.
I miss you greatly dear. The nicest time of day is when I write to you. You have a stormier time than I do but I miss you as much, I think... Please keep most of your heart in Washington as long as I'm here for most of mine is with you!
If man is to be liberated to enjoy more leisure, he must also be prepared to enjoy this leisure fully and creatively.
I learned then that practically no one in the world is entirely bad or entirely good, and that motives are often more important than actions.
The important thing is neither your nationality nor the religion you professed, but how your faith translated itself in your life.
This is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used.
There is a widespread understanding among the people of this nation, and probably among the people of the world, that there is no safety except through the prevention of war.
I often wonder how we can make the more fortunate in this country fully aware of the fact that the problem of the unemployed is not a mechanical one. It is a problem alive and throbbing with human pain.
Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
To some of us, hunger was more academic than real, but we must try to develop the ability to feel the urgency of such a situation.
As with all children, the feeling that I was useful was perhaps the greatest joy I experienced.
Usefulness, whatever form it may take, is the price we should pay for the air we breathe and the food we eat and the privilege of being alive.
The greatest tragedy of old age is the tendency for the old to feel unneeded, unwanted, and of no use to anyone; the secret of happiness in the declining years is to remain interested in life, as active as possible, useful to others, busy, and forward looking.
There is in every country an antipathy to the foreigner.
Unused ability, like unused muscles, will atrophy.
Perhaps the basic thing which contributes to charm is the ability to forget oneself and be engrossed in other people.
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.
All wars eventually act as boomerangs and the victor suffers as much as the vanquished.
Actors are one family over the entire world.
You future first ladies will feel that you are no longer clothing yourself, you are dressing a public monument.
In the long run there is no more exhilarating experience than to determine one's position, state it bravely and then act boldly.
In the long run there is no more liberating, no more exhilarating experience than to determine one's position, state it bravely, and then act boldly. Action brings with it its own courage, its own energy, a growth of self-confidence that can be acquired in no other way.
I know that given great responsibility men sometimes change, but Mr. Nixon's Presidency would worry me.
It is very difficult to have a free, fair and honest press anywhere in the world. In the first place, as a rule, papers are largely supported by advertising, and that immediately gives the advertisers a certain hold over the medium they use.
I do not think I will ever become deadened, because I live in other people's lives, I must admit there are times when it weighs me down because I can't do some of the things I want.
I think it is impossible for one human being really to know another without first knowing and being at peace with himself.
One thing is for sure -- none of the arts flourishes on censorship and repression. And by this time it should be evident that the American public is capable of doing its own censoring.
The hard part of loving is that one has to learn so often to let go of those we love, so they can do things, so they can grow, so they can return to us with an even richer, deeper love.
The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government.
There is not a human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.
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.
A respect for the rights of other peoples to determine their forms of government and their economy will not weaken our democracy. It will inevitably strengthen it.
We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind, that is the approval by the General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation in 1789 of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the U.S., and the adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other countries.
There are three fundamentals for human happiness -- love and faith, and work which will produce at least a minimum of material security. These things must be made possible for all human beings, men and women alike.
Practically nothing we do ever stands by itself. If it is good, it will serve some good purpose in the future. If it is evil, it may haunt us and handicap our efforts in unimagined ways.
The most important word in the English language is hope.
We need not fear any isms if our democracy is achieving the ends for which it was established.
Autobiographies are only useful as the lives you read about and analyze may suggest to you something that you may find useful in your own journey through life.
No one can insult you without your permission.
After the discovery in 1918 of love letters revealing that Franklin was involved with Lucy Mercer: The bottom dropped out of my own particular world, I faced myself, my surroundings, my world, honestly for the first time.
I have often felt that I cheated my children a little. I was never so totally theirs as most mothers are. I gave to audiences what belonged to my children, got back from audiences the love my children longed to give me.
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.
I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do.
I think that if the atomic bomb did nothing more, it scared the people to the point where they realized that either they must do something about preventing war or there is a chance that there might be a morning when we would not wake up.
The war for freedom will never really be won because the price of freedom is constant vigilance over ourselves and over our Government.
If everything was in your favor, if you did not have to surmount any great mountains, then you have nothing to be proud of. But if you feel that you have special difficulties, then you must indeed be proud of your achievement.
Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without being related to you and repeatedly questioning why you're in nonprofit.
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.
Once I 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.
Mr. Richard M. Nixon never has anything but hindsight.
To tell the people in the West not to use their cars means that these people may never see another soul for weeks and weeks nor have a way of getting a sick person to a doctor.
Spiritual leadership should remain spiritual leadership and the temporal power should not become too important in any church.
I found that almost everyone had something interesting to contribute to my education.
I know that we will be the sufferers if we let great wrongs occur without exerting ourselves to correct them.
For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.
Talking too much is a far greater social fault than talking too little.
Life has got to be lived -- that's all there is to it.
No writing has any real value which is not the expression of genuine thought and feeling.
Quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt are featured in:
You Yourself Quotes
Inner Peace Quotes