Theodore Roosevelt was a very effective writer and speaker, and he is eminently quotable.
For each of the quotes below, the Theodore Roosevelt Center has provided a brief explanation
of the setting or the context in which TR made the statement.
The TR Quote of the Day App, available in the
Mac App Store or
Android Market for your iOS and Android devices, also includes a TR Quiz to test your
knowledge about our 26th president.
Featured Quote for January 22, 2018:
You must have faculty not merely of doing right and of being fearless and strong, but of knowing how to handle yourself.
View Document of Origin
December 23, 2017
All young men should take an active part in our political life and should do their full duty as citizens in their exercise of their rights of self-government; they should rank action far above criticism and should understand that he is deserving who actually does things and not he who confines himself to talking about they ought to be done; they should have a high ideal and strive to realize it; they should show the virtues of uprightness and tolerance and gentleness but they should also show the sterner virtues of courage, resolution and hardihood and the desire to fight unceasingly against the existence of wrong.
View Document of Origin
December 22, 2017
…and it is a very bad thing for every one if we make men feel that the same reward will come to those who shirk their work and those who do it.
December 21, 2017
Let us try to level up, but let us beware of the evil of leveling down.
December 20, 2017
But the reward must go to the man who does his work well; for any other course is to create a new kind of privilege, the privilege of folly and weakness; and special privilege is injustice, whatever form it takes.
December 19, 2017
We are bound in honor to strive to bring even nearer the day when, as far is humanly possible, we shall be able to realize the ideal that each man shall have an equal opportunity to show the stuff that is in him by the way in which he renders service.
December 18, 2017
But we should not take part in acting a lie any more than in telling a lie. We should not say that men are equal when they are not equal, nor proceed upon the assumption that there is an equality where it does not exist; but we should strive to bring about a measurable equality, a least to the extent of preventing the inequality which is due to force or fraud.
December 17, 2017
It is a bad thing for a nation to raise and to admire a false standard of success; and there can be no falser standard than that set by the deification of material well-being in and for itself.
December 16, 2017
I am a strong individualist by personal habit, inheritance, and conviction; but it is a mere matter of common sense to recognize that the State, the community, the citizens acting together; can do a number of things better than if they were left to individual action.
December 15, 2017
It is not good to be a slave of names.
December 14, 2017
Moreover, the preacher of ideals must remember how sorry and contemptible is the figure which he will cut, how great the damage he will do, if he does not himself, in his own life, strive measurably to realize the ideals that he preaches for others. Let him remember also that the worth of the ideal must be largely determined by the success with which it can in practice be realized.