Timeless Quotes From Franklin D. Roosevelt

Timeless Quotes From Franklin D. Roosevelt

As one of America’s most prolific presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the country through some of its roughest times. As the only president to have served over two terms, Roosevelt centered on bringing America out of the Great Depression in his first eight years in office. 

During his third and fourth term, Roosevelt led the country while it fought World War 2 against both Japan and Germany. With so many years in office, Roosevelt would inevitably deliver some of the most memorable quotes of any president. 

New Deal

It was Roosevelt who sold the New Deal to the American people.

“I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a New Deal for the American People.”

On July 2, 1932, this speech was part of the beginning of Roosevelt’s 1930s efforts to drag the country out of the Great Depression.

American Life

Roosevelt 1944
President Roosevelt was firmly behind putting aside our differences.

“Religious intolerance, social intolerance, and political intolerance have no place in our American life.”

Roosevelt strongly believed in putting aside our differences to unite and find a way for everyone to prosper.


Roosevelt was never pro-war, as he knew all about its atrocities.

“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.”

Delivered by Roosevelt as part of his “Good Neighbor Policy” address, Roosevelt made this comment during an August 14, 1936 speech.

Pearl Harbor Address

There was no finer moment for Roosevelt outside of his Pearl Harbor address.

“Yesterday, December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

Spoken to Congress on December 8, 1941, this was arguably Roosevelt’s most famous speech as he declared war on Japan.

The Four Freedoms

The Four Freedoms speech was another one of Roosevelt’s most important speeches.

“I suppose that every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being assailed in every part of the world…”

“The Four Freedoms” speech, given on January 6, 1941, was part of Roosevelt’s 8th State of the Union, in which he sought to move the US away from its isolationist stance.

Realization and Doubt

President Roosevelt knew that he couldn’t give in to any doubts.

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”

Another prolific but short quote from Roosevelt was his firm belief that we couldn’t give in to doubt.

Human Kindness

Roosevelt believed that human kindness should be the most important thing to everyone.

“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.”

Roosevelt said this in 1940, and it is true. Kindness should be the norm for both nations and their people.

Providing for Others

Franklin Roosevelt helped pull the country out of the Great Depression.

“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.”

During his inaugural address in 1937, Roosevelt could see the country was starting to see the signs of coming out of the Great Depression.

Men of Good

Roosevelt Military Leaders
President Roosevelt knew that World War 2 was a war for the ages.

“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.”

During a speech on February 12, 1943, Roosevelt knew that history would talk about World War 2 for years to come, and he understood why America took part and destroyed the evil in the world.

American People

Roosevelt accepts nomination
Roosevelt was familiar with why the voters elected him President.

“I never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people and that I have been given their trust.”

You can say that Roosevelt was an imperfect president, but quotes like these remind us he knew exactly why the voters sent him there.

Path of Hope

Franklin Roosevelt
President Roosevelt understood what was important about being a politician.

“In these days of difficulty, we Americans everywhere 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.”

On October 2, 1932, Roosevelt said this as he was running for office as he, more than any other politician running for president, knew what would be necessary for the decade to come.

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