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Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes

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Picture of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1938)

(Picture courtesy the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library)
Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, led the country both during the Great Depression and World War II. Throughout his career in politics, especially during his unprecedented four terms in office, Roosevelt made many speeches, many of which contained important phrases for the time or timeless witticisms that are certainly worth remembering.

Below you will find a collection of just a few of these quotes made by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Quotes by Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1933)

  • It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address at Oglethorpe University (May 22, 1932)

  • It isn't sufficient just to want - you've got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, as quoted in the Kansas City Star (June 5, 1977)

  • We can afford all that we need; but we cannot afford all that we want.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Veto of the Bonus Bill (May 22, 1935)

  • We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Address at University of Pennsylvania (September 20, 1940)

  • If you treat people right they will treat you right -- ninety percent of the time.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Advice to his son James on giving a speech

  • Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Radio Address to the New York Herald Tribune Forum (October 26, 1939)

  • No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat: The Great Arsenal of Democracy (December 29, 1940)

  • I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, to Henry Heymann (December 2, 1919)

  • Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Speech at the People's Forum in Troy, New York (March 3, 1912)

  • Confidence... thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933)

  • I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Pan American Day address, April 15, 1939

  • The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1933)

  • But while they prate of economic laws, men and women are starving. We must lay hold of the fact that economic laws are not made by nature. They are made by human beings.
    -- Quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Nomination Address at the Democratic National Convention of 1932 (July 2, 1932)
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