Franklin D. Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American politician who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 to 1945. Explore the timeless wisdom of Franklin D. Roosevelt quotes on success, freedom, leadership, and more from his inauguration address and other milestone speeches.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the only president elected to office four times, leading the nation through some of the most challenging times, including the Great Depression, World War II, and the Pearl Harbor attack.
Also Check: Theodore Roosevelt Quotes
In his first inaugural address, he told the nation that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” paving the way to his presidency and weaving the fabric of modern America.
Spending more than a decade in the White House, Roosevelt remains among one of America’s most-liked Presidents for his charisma, inspiring leadership, and efforts to change the country for the better.
Top 10 Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes (FDR)
- “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Famous Quotes from Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Remember you are just an extra in everyone else’s play.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Democracy alone, of all forms of government, enlists the full force of men’s enlightened will.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “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.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nests.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “I propose to create a Civilian Conservation Corps to be used in simple work…More important, however, than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work.” — FDR
President Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes
- “I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Among American citizens, there should be no forgotten men and no forgotten races.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Industrial combination is not wrong in itself. The danger lies in taking government into partnership.” — 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.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “They [who] seek to establish systems of government based on the regimentation of all human beings by a handful of individual rulers…call this a new order. It is not new and it is not order.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Best Of FDR Quotes
- “Inquisitiveness is the most useful talent.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We must be the great arsenal of democracy.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “If you treat people right they will treat you right… ninety percent of the time.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries is in danger.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Freedom of speech…Freedom of worship…Freedom from want…Freedom from fear.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We shall strive for perfection. We shall not achieve it immediately – but we still shall strive.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
Quotes By Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)
- “The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation…it must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “In these days of difficulty, we Americans must and shall choose the path of social justice… the path of faith, the path of hope and the path of love toward our fellow man.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “It is time to extend planning to a wider field, in this instance comprehending in one great project many states directly concerned with the basin of one of our greatest rivers.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded…I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed…I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Unless the peace that follows recognizes that the whole world is one neighborhood and does justice to the whole human race, the germs of another world war will remain as a constant threat to mankind.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “We have faith that future generations will know here, in the middle of the twentieth century, there came a time when men of good will found a way to unite, and produce, and fight to destroy the forces of ignorance, and intolerance, and slavery, and war.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “Let us not be afraid to help each other – let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials but the voters of this country.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “A radical is a man with both feet firmly planted—in the air. A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who, however, has never learned to walk forward. A reactionary is a somnambulist walking backwards. A liberal is a man who uses his legs and hands at the behest of his head.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt
More About Franklin D. Roosevelt
He is known for formulating a series of programs and reforms known as the New Deal, that helped the world to get rid of German National Socialism and Japanese militarism.
During his tenure, Roosevelt created various programs to provide relief to the unemployed and farmers. He also instituted major regulatory reforms related to the minimum wage rate, finance, communications, and health.
Roosevelt was married to Eleanor Roosevelt, a distant cousin, and a significant political figure in her own right. They had six children together. Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away on April 12, 1945, from a cerebral hemorrhage while in office, shortly into his fourth term.
Under his steadfast leadership, FDR led the nation through one of its most turbulent times and served as a master orator to calm Americans’ fears.
Being a great communicator, Roosevelt addressed the American people through some 30 speeches broadcast via radio. These speeches became known as the “fireside chats” and they instilled hope and confidence among millions of people.
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