21 Inspiring Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

Published September 29, 2016
Updated November 7, 2023

These stirring Eleanor Roosevelt quotes address everything from democracy to achieving peace to making the most of your time on Earth.

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes
“Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you.”Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt On The Purpose Of Life
"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."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt On Being A Woman
"No, I have never wanted to be a man. I have often wanted to be more effective as a woman, but I have never felt that trousers would do the trick!"Wikimedia Commons

Quotes On Hope
"Surely, in the light of history, it is more intelligent to hope rather than to fear, to try rather than not to try. For one thing we know beyond all doubt: Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, `It can't be done.'"Wikimedia Commons

Official White House Portrait
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt On Getting Strength And Courage
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' … You must do the thing you think you cannot do."Wikimedia Commons

Inspiring Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes
"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."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt In 1933
"Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."Wikimedia Commons

Quotes On Love
"The giving of love is an education in itself."Wikimedia Commons

When Life Is Too Easy For Us
"When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor."Wikimedia Commons

Motivational Quotes By Eleanor Roosevelet
"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.”Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt And Mary Bethune
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you'll be criticized anyway."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt United_nations Paris 1951
"One of the blessings of age is to learn not to part on a note of sharpness, to treasure the moments spent with those we love, and to make them whenever possible good to remember, for time is short."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt Walking Dog
"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 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."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor With Children
"Up to a certain point it is good for us to know that there are people in the world who will give us love and unquestioned loyalty to the limit of their ability. I doubt, however, if it is good for us to feel assured of this without the accompanying obligation of having to justify this devotion by our behavior."Wikimedia Commons

FDR And Eleanor Roosevelt In 1929
"It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know."Wikimedia Commons

South Pacific 1943
"Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down."Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes On Preventing Human Misery
"When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Wikimedia Commons

The Roosevelts In 1941
"Our trouble is that we do not demand enough of the people who represent us. We are responsible for their activities...we must spur them to more imagination and enterprise in making a push into the unknown; we must make clear that we intend to have responsible and courageous leadership."Wikimedia Commons

With Queen Elizabeth 1942
"We face the future fortified with the lessons we have learned from the past. It is today that we must create the world of the future."Wikimedia Commons

Quotes On Life
"Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do."Wikimedia Commons

Although Eleanor Roosevelt served as First Lady during periods of immense turmoil -- the Great Depression and World War II -- she never lost her spirit and remained a fierce advocate for causes like civil rights for women and African-Americans throughout her entire life.

By the time Roosevelt's husband died, she had ensconced herself as a formidable political figure in her own right, and served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. With her work at the U.N. and her accomplishments while living at the White House, Roosevelt broadened public perceptions of what the First Lady can do and what women in politics can achieve.

The twenty-one Eleanor Roosevelt quotes above -- on everything from world peace to aging gracefully -- help reveal why this woman maintains such an inspiring legacy to this day.

Next, read these empowering Hillary Clinton quotes. Then, see how the Depression and World War II literally changed the face of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Elisabeth Sherman
Elisabeth Sherman is a writer living in Jersey City, New Jersey. She holds a Master's in writing from Columbia University, and her work has appeared in Food & Wine, The Guardian, Yahoo, BBC, HuffPost, VICE, MSN, and Vulture.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
Cite This Article
Sherman, Elisabeth. "21 Inspiring Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes." AllThatsInteresting.com, September 29, 2016, https://allthatsinteresting.com/eleanor-roosevelt-quotes. Accessed April 18, 2024.