Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights. After her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt continued to be an international author, speaker, politician, and activist for the New Deal coalition. She worked to enhance the status of working women, although she opposed the Equal Rights Amendment because she believed it would adversely affect women.
In the 1940s, Roosevelt supported the formation of the United Nations was a delegate to the UN General Assembly from 1945 and 1952. During her time at the United Nations she chaired the committee that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. President Truman called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
Active in politics for the rest of her life, she was ranked in the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
Here are some of Eleanor's great quotes:
A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.
Anyone who thinks must think of the next war as they would of suicide.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't.
Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility.
Friendship with one’s self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.
I cannot believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.
I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.
I'm so glad I never feel important, it does complicate life!
If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.
In all our contacts it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.
In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.
It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.
Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
My experience has been that work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.
Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
Only a man's character is the real criterion of worth.
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.
Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.
Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.
Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
The giving of love is an education in itself.
The only things one can admire at length are those one admires without knowing why.
Understanding is a two-way street.
We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.
What one has to do usually can be done.
What you don't do can be a destructive force.
When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.
When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!
You can never really live anyone else's life, not even your child's. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you've become yourself.
You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.