150 Theodore Roosevelt Quotes to Educate and Lead You

We’ve gathered a collection of Theodore Roosevelt quotes about courage, hard work, and success.

From 1901 to 1909, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was the 26th President of the United States. One of his advocations was the conservation of natural resources. There’s no doubt that he made a difference in both politics and issues related to the outdoors.

Read and enjoy his memorable quotes and lines. Take advantage of this great man’s insightful knowledge!

See the complete list below.

And make sure to check out these Franklin Roosevelt quotes and George Washington quotes.

Best Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

Five Quotes That Could Change Every...
Five Quotes That Could Change Everything

1. “Power invariably means both responsibility and danger.”

2. “Democracy to be successful, must mean self-knowledge, and above all, self-mastery.”

3. “Don’t hit a man at all if you can avoid it, but if you have to hit him, knock him out.”

4. “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

5. “Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”

6. “I am only an average man, but by George, I work harder at it than the average man.”

7. “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

8. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

9. “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

10. “For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”

11. “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

12. “I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

13. “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”

14. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.”

15. “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.”

Also read: Thomas Jefferson Quotes

Inspirational Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

16. “The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.”

17. “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

18. “Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”

19. “Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the choice that something else is greater than that fear.”

20. “When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”

21. “With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.”

22. “Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.”

23. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

24. “This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

25. “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then, get busy and find out how to do it.”

26. “The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats.”

27. “The joy of living is his who has the heart to demand it.”

28. “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.”

29. “Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing.”

30. “I put myself in the way of things happening, and they happened.”

Also read: Woodrow Wilson Quotes

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes on Government and Leadership

31. “A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.”

32. “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.”

33. “It is true of the Nation, as of the individual, that the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer.”

34. “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official.”

35. “Great thought speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind.”

36. “I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.”

37. “Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready.”

38. “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

39. “This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country.”

40. “A man’s first duty is to pull his own weight and to take care of those dependent upon him.”

41. “A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”

42. “Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so.”

43. “It is better for the government to help a poor man to make a living for his family than to help a rich man make more profit for his company.”

Encouraging Theodore Roosevelt Quotes That Will Motivate You to Achieve Success

44. “I have only a second-rate brain, but I think I have a capacity for action.”

45. “I have always been fond of the West African proverb: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.’”

46. “Dreams are a dime a dozen. It’s their execution that counts.”

47. “Courage, hard work, self-mastery, and intelligent effort are all essential to a successful life.”

48. “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

49. “You can’t choose your potential, but you can choose to fulfill it.”

50. “Be practical as well as generous in your ideals.”

51. “We have become great in a material sense because of the lavish use of our resources, and we have just reason to be proud of our growth.”

52. “There are many qualities which we need in order to gain success, but the three above all—for the lack of which no brilliancy and no genius can atone—are courage, honesty, and common sense.”

53. “The credit belongs to those who are actually in the arena, who strive valiantly; who know the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spend themselves in a worthy cause.”

54. “It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But, he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”

55. “It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance and that in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.”

56. “The longer I live the more I think of the quality of fortitude—men who fall, pick themselves up and stumble on, fall again, and are trying to get back up when they die.”

57. “I know your work is hard, and that is why I congratulate you with all my heart.”

58. “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes That Reflect His Thoughts, Beliefs, and Ideals

59. “Americans learn only from catastrophe and not from experience.”

60. “I am a part of everything that I have read.”

61. “Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been effort stored up in the past.”

62. “Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.”

63. “I grew into manhood thoroughly imbued with the feeling that a man must be respected for what he made of himself.”

64. “To educate a person without teaching ethics is to create a menace to society.”

65. “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we ask him to obey it.”

66. “I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.”

67. “I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!”

68. “In the long run, the most unpleasant truth is a safer companion than a pleasant falsehood.”

69. “Politeness is a sign of dignity, not subservience.”

70. “No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry.”

71. “If given the choice between righteousness and peace, I choose righteousness.”

72. “The forest and water problems are perhaps the most vital internal problems of the United States.”

73. “We should not forget that it will be just as important to our descendants to be prosperous in their time as it is to us to be prosperous in our time.”

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes That Everyone Can Relate To

74. “The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others.”

75. “The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”

76. “Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”

77. “Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting, but never hit soft!”

78. “Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time.”

79. “No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.”

80. “We must treat each man on his worth and merits as a man.”

81. “Unless a man is master of his soul, all other kinds of mastery amount to little.”

82. “We are not building this country of ours for a day. It is to last through the ages.”

83. “Honesty first; then courage; then brains—and all are indispensable.”

84. “A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

85. “Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.”

86. “All the resources we need are in the mind.”

87. “It is out of the question for our people to rise by treading down any of their own numbers.”

88. “If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”

Deep Theodore Roosevelt Quotes on Life

89. “Life means change; where there is no change, death comes.”

90. “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

91. “Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike.”

92. “A soft, easy life is not worth living if it impairs the fiber of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great, and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage.”

93. “Sometimes in life, both at school and afterward, fortune will go against anyone, but if he just keeps pegging away and doesn’t lose his courage, things always take a turn for the better in the end.”

94. “Death is always and under all circumstances a tragedy, for if it is not, then it means that life itself has become one.”

95. “The worst of all fears is the fear of living.”

96. “In life as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard; don’t foul and don’t shirk, but hit the line hard.”

97. “The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer.”

98. “Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die, and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of life and the duty of life. Both life and death are parts of the same Great Adventure.”

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes That Are Incredibly Wise

99. “We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.”

100. “Bodily vigor is good, and vigor of intellect is even better, but far above both is character.”

101. “The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us.”

102. “And our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred.”

103. “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.”

104. “The farmer is a good farmer who, having enabled the land to support himself and to provide for the education of his children, leaves it to them a little better than he found it himself.”

105. “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired in value.”

106. “Life is as if you were traveling a ridge crest. You have the gulf of inefficiency on one side and the gulf of wickedness on the other, and it helps not to have avoided one gulf if you fall into the other.”

107. “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

108. “We despise and abhor the bully, the brawler, the oppressor, whether in private or public life, but we despise no less the coward and the voluptuary.”

109. “I cannot consent to take the position that the door of hope—the door of opportunity—is to be shut upon any man, no matter how worthy, purely upon the grounds of race or color. Such an attitude would, according to my convictions, be fundamentally wrong.”

110. “It is better to have it and need it than to need it and not have it.”

Interesting Theodore Roosevelt Quotes to Get You Thinking

111. “Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves, and we can shirk neither.”

112. “The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.”

113. “No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of justified.”

114. “The United States at this moment occupies a lamentable position as being perhaps the chief offender among civilized nations in permitting the destruction and pollution of nature.”

115. “The modern naturalist must realize that in some of its branches his profession, while more than ever a science, has also become an art.”

116. “There is delight in the hardy life of the open.”

117. “Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism, and the effort to destroy them would be futile unless accomplished in ways that would work the utmost mischief to the entire body politic.”

118. “Thrice happy is the nation that has a glorious history.”

119. “In this country, we have no place for hyphenated Americans.”

120. “No man is worth calling a man who will not fight rather than submit to infamy or see those that are dear to him suffer wrong.”

121. “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”

Theodore Roosevelt Quotes About Adventure and Wilderness

122. “I grow very fond of this place, and it certainly has a desolate, grim beauty of its own, that has a curious fascination for me.”

123. “Rattlesnakes are only too plentiful everywhere; along the river bottoms, in the broken, hilly ground, and on the prairies and the great desert wastes alike.”

124. “Nothing could be more lonely and nothing more beautiful than the view at nightfall across the prairies to these huge hill masses, when the lengthening shadows had, at last, merged into one and the faint after-glow of the red sunset filled the west.”

125. “One of our sweetest, loudest songsters is the meadowlark—the plain’s air seems to give it a voice, and it will perch on the top of a bush or tree and sing for hours in rich, bubbling tones.”

126. “They have a funny habit of gravely bowing or posturing at the passer-by, and stand up very erect on their legs.”

127. “Rough board shelves hold a number of books, without which some of the evenings would be long indeed.”

128. “It was here that the romance of my life began.”

129. “Magpies are birds that catch the eye at once from their bold black and white plumage and long tails, and they are very saucy and at the same time very cunning and shy.”

130. “The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel.”

131. “The little owls call to each other with tremulous, quavering voices throughout the livelong night, as they sit in the creaking trees.”

132. “The Badlands grade all the way from those that are almost rolling in character to those that are so fantastically broken in form and so bizarre in color as to seem hardly properly to belong to this earth.”

133. “Its toughness and hardy endurance fitted it to contend with purely natural forces—to resist cold and wintery blasts or the heat of the thirsty summer.”

134. “The extermination of the buffalo has been a veritable tragedy of the animal world.”

135. “Water is a commodity not by any means to be found everywhere.”

136. “There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm.”

More Theodore Roosevelt Quotes

137. “Every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”

138. “For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.”

139. “A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as helpless.”

140. “A stream cannot rise larger than its source.”

141. “There is quite enough sorrow and shame and suffering and baseness in real life, and there is no need for meeting it unnecessarily in fiction.”

142. “Complaining about a problem without posing a solution is called whining.”

143. “The government is us; we are the government, you and I.”

144. “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

145. “It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone, but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching.”

146. “Each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune.”

147. “Aggressive fighting for the right is the noblest sport the world affords.”

148. “There can be no life without change, and to be afraid of what is different or unfamiliar is to be afraid of life.”

149. “To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”

150. “Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive.”

What Did You Learn From Theodore Roosevelt?

Theodore Roosevelt began modestly. He had severe asthma and was frequently ill. This toughened him up, and he began honing his body at a young age.

He was best known for his incredible wisdom and love for nature. To this day, he remains to be the youngest ever to be elected as president of the United States. However, his young age wasn’t a hindrance to his career; and instead, it gave him a different perspective and approach when dealing with national issues.

Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the value of hard work, patriotism, and dedication. We hope that this collection was able to inspire you to be an effective leader who serves with dignity.

Which of these quotes are your favorites? Please, leave a comment in the section below.