Sure, Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving first lady (thanks to husband Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office), but she was so much more than just the wife of the 32nd president of the United States.
A politician, diplomat, and activist, President Truman once called Eleanor the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.
She was outspoken on political and cultural issues (particularly civil and women's rights), even publicly disagreeing with some of her husband's policies.
When she died in 1962, she was regarded as "one of the most esteemed women in the world" and her New York Times obituary stated she was "the object of almost universal respect." She also ranks #9 on Gallup's list of Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
A very happy 131st birthday to you, Eleanor. May these 17 quotes from Eleanor inspire and embolden you today.
People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along."
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
I believe 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.
It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.
The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for any reason, turn his back of life.
We all create the person we become by our choices as we go through life. In a real sense, by the time we are adults, we are the sum total of the choices we have made.
Friendship with oneself is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In stopping to think through the meaning of what I have learned, there is much that I believe intensely, much I am unsure of. 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.
Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you.
The more we simplify our material needs the more we are free to think of other things.
Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
Photo Credit: Getty Images