Quotes and Quotations

Memorable Quotes and quotations from John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy US Democratic politician (1917 - 1963)


John F. Kennedy - "A Thousand Days," by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. [1965]
- My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it till now. -- (Comment made 10 April 1962 in reaction to news that U.S. Steel was raising prices by $6 per ton, right after the unions negotiated a modest new contract under pressure from JFK to keep inflation down.)

John F. Kennedy - October 26, 1963
- We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.

John F. Kennedy -
- The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F. Kennedy - "A Thousand Days," by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr [1965]., p289. Comment made by JFK in the aftermath of the fai
- Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan.

John F. Kennedy -
- Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.

John F. Kennedy -
- A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

John F. Kennedy - speech prepared for delivery in Dallas the day of his assassination, November 22, 1963
- Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John F. Kennedy - speech in 1962
- We don?t see the end of the tunnel but I must say I don?t think it is darker than it was a year ago, and in some ways lighter.

John F. Kennedy -
- The ancient Greek definition of happiness was the full use of your powers along lines of excellence.

John F. Kennedy - "A Thousand Days," by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr [1965]
- If I am to die, this is the week for it. -- John F. Kennedy (to aide John McClone in response to a CIA report about rumours of an assassination plot), June 1962.

John F. Kennedy - 28 October 1962, after receiving word from Khrushchev that he agreed on a plan to end the Cuban Missile Crisis
- This is the night to go to the theatre, like Abraham Lincoln.

John F. Kennedy -
- Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain.

John F. Kennedy - Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
- And so, my fellow americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

John F. Kennedy -
- Change is the law of life; and those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.

John F. Kennedy - inaugural address, January 20, 1961
- If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

John F. Kennedy -
- We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

John F. Kennedy -
- But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.

John F. Kennedy -
- The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961
- If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

John F. Kennedy -
- Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.

John F. Kennedy - Describing a dinner for Nobel Prize winners, 1962
- ...probably the greatest concentration of talent and genius in this house except for perhaps those times when Thomas Jefferson ate alone.

John F. Kennedy -
- We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.

John F. Kennedy -
- Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

John F. Kennedy - in a speech on May 25, 1961
- I believe this nation should commit itself, to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.

John F. Kennedy -
- The quality of American life must keep pace with the quantity of American goods. This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.

John F. Kennedy -
- Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy -
- It is our task in our time and in our generation to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.

John F. Kennedy - inaugural address, 1961
- All this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.

John F. Kennedy - Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
- If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

John F. Kennedy -
- Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F. Kennedy -
- Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

John F. Kennedy -
- Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

John F. Kennedy - Speech for the Dallas Trade Mart which was never delivered.
- There will always be dissident voices heard in the land expresing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side, and seeking influence without responsibility.

John F. Kennedy -
- Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

John F. Kennedy -
- Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.

John F. Kennedy - speech at Vanderbilt University, May 18, 1963
- The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.

John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 1961
- And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.

John F. Kennedy -
- Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.

John F. Kennedy - Comment after the Vatican scolded him for supporting separation between church and state during his campaign, 1
- Now I understand why Henry VIII started his own church.

John F. Kennedy -
- Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.

John F. Kennedy - "A Thousand Days," by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. [1965]
- Who can tell who will be the President a year from now? -- John F. Kennedy, speaking to the president of Harvard about why he did not want to delay signing documents relating to a future JFK Presidential Library, 2 October 1963.

John F. Kennedy - speech at The American University, Washington, D.C., June 10, 1963
- Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.

John F. Kennedy - Inaugural Address, 1961
- Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today, at home and around the world!

John F. Kennedy - Introducing Pablo Casals at a White House dinner, November 1961, at which he performed publicly for the first t
- We believe that an artist, in order to be true to himself and his work, must be a free man.

John F. Kennedy -
- Conformity is the jailer of freedom, and the enemy of growth.

John F. Kennedy - speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
- We need men who can dream of things that never were.

John F. Kennedy -
- The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

John F. Kennedy -
- The American, by nature, is optimistic. He is experimental, an inventor and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.

John F. Kennedy -
- There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.

John F. Kennedy - Speech to UN General Assembly, Sept. 25, 1961
- Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind.

John F. Kennedy - Rice University speech on September 12, 1962
- We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy - but because they are hard! Because that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone and one we intend to win!

John F. Kennedy - In a speech at the White House, 1962
- Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

John F. Kennedy -
- Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John F. Kennedy -
- We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.

John F. Kennedy -
- We stand for freedom. That is our conviction for ourselves; that is our only commitment to others.

John F. Kennedy -
- Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

John F. Kennedy - Amherst College, Oct 26, 1963 - Source JFK Library, Boston, Mass.
- The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation?s greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us.

John F. Kennedy -
- Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F. Kennedy -
- Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.

John F. Kennedy -
- Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

John F. Kennedy -
- The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not the lie--delierate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth persistent, peruasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.