149+ Best Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes: Exclusive Selection

General of the Army Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower was was the 34th president of the United States (1953–61). Eisenhower had been supreme commander of the Allied forces in western Europe during World War II. Profoundly inspirational Dwight D. Eisenhower quotes will make you look at life differently and help you live a meaningful life.

Famous Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes

A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We the people, elect leaders not to rule but to serve. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The opportunist thinks of me and today. The statesman thinks of us and tomorrow. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Teachers need our active support and encouragement. They are doing one of the most necessary and exacting jobs in the land. They are developing our most precious national resource: our children, our future citizens. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Pessimism never won any battle. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Never lose your temper, except intentionally. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Always try to associate yourself closely with and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you. Apart from the rewards of friendship, the association might pay off at some unforeseen time – that is only an accidental byproduct. The important thing is that the learning will make you a better person. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements, and systems all gone? That isn’t preventive war; that is war. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I’ll tell you what leadership is. It’s persuasion and conciliation, and education, and patience. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We have the disgrace of racial discrimination, or we have prejudice against people because of their religion. We have not had the courage to uproot these things, although we know they are wrong. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We must achieve both security and solvency. In fact, the foundation of military strength is economic strength. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

People talk about the middle of the road as though it were unacceptable. Actually, all human problems, excepting morals, come into the gray areas. Things are not all black and white. There have to be compromises. The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The only way to win World War III is to prevent it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today in America, unions have a secure place in our industrial life. Only a handful of reactionaries harbor the ugly thought of breaking unions and depriving working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. I have no use for those – regardless of their political party – who hold some vain and foolish dream of spinning the clock back to days when organized labor was huddled, almost as a hapless mass. Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join the union of their choice. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Civilization owes to the Islamic world some of its most important tools and achievements…the Muslim genius has added much to the culture of all peoples. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The past sharpens perspective, warns against pitfalls, and helps to point the way. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Only Americans can hurt America. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If a man’s associates find him guilty of being phony, if they find that he lacks forthright integrity, he will fail. His teachings and actions must square with each other. The first great need, therefore, is integrity and high purpose. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leadership is the ability to decide what is to be done and then get others to do it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The qualities of a great man are vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

A good teacher is one who can understand those who are not very good at explaining and explain to those who are not very good at understanding. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Beware the military-industrial complex. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

But we know that freedom cannot be served by the devices of the tyrant. As it is an ancient truth that freedom cannot be legislated into existence, so it is no less obvious that freedom cannot be censored into existence. And any who act as if freedoms defenses are to be found in suppression and suspicion and fear confess a doctrine that is alien to America. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is a kind of dictatorship that can come about through a creeping paralysis of thought, readiness to accept paternalistic measures by government, and along with those measures comes a surrender of our own responsibilities and therefore a surrender of our own thought over our own lives and our own right to exercise the vote. The free system gives the right to every citizen to do something for himself. Because he has the right, the opportunity is always there. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Plans are nothing; planning is everything. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some politician some years ago said that bad officials are elected by good voters who do not vote. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If our founding fathers were alive today, they’d roll over in their graves. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

No man can always be right. So, the struggle is to do one’s best, to keep the brain and conscience clear, never be swayed by unworthy motives or inconsequential reasons, but to strive to unearth the basic factors involved, then do one’s duty. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In vast stretches of the earth, men awoke today in hunger. They will spend the day in unceasing toil. And as the sun goes down, they will still know hunger. They will see suffering in the eyes of their children. Many despair that their labor will ever decently shelter their families or protect them against disease. So long as this is so, peace and freedom will be in danger throughout our world. For wherever free men lose hope of progress, liberty will be weakened, and the seeds of conflict will be sown. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The same day I saw my first horror camp, I visited every nook and cranny. I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

This is what I found out about religion: It gives you courage to make the decisions you must make in a crisis, and then the confidence to leave the result to a higher Power. Only by trust in God can a man carrying responsibility find repose. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Any time we deny any citizen the full exercise of his constitutional rights, we are weakening our own claim to them. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our American heritage is threatened as much by our own indifference as it is by the most unscrupulous office or by the most powerful foreign threat. The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

For every obstacle there is a solution. Persistence is the key. The greatest mistake is giving up! – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Someday there is going to be a man sitting in my present chair who has not been raised in the military services and who will have little understanding of where slashes in their estimates can be made with little or no damage. If that should happen while we still have the state of tension that now exists in the world, I shudder to think of what could happen in this country – Dwight D. Eisenhower

And I should like to assure you, my Islamic friends, that under the American Constitution, under American tradition, and in American hearts, this Center, this place of worship, is just as welcome as could be a similar edifice of any other religion. Indeed, America would fight with her whole strength for your right to have here your own church and worship according to your own conscience. This concept is indeed a part of America, and without that concept we would be something else than what we are. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels – men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Without God there could be no American form of government, nor an American way of life. Recognition of the Supreme Being is the first, the most basic, expression of Americanism. Thus, the founding fathers of America saw it, and thus with God’s help, it will continue to be. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They’ll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Change based on principle is progress. Constant change without principle becomes chaos. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every leader should have enough humility to accept, publicly, the responsibility for the mistakes of the subordinates he has himself selected and, likewise, to give them credit, publicly, for their triumphs. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Don’t join the book burners. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I’m saving that rocker for the day when I feel as old as I really am. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

How far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I thought it completely absurd to mention my name in the same breath as the presidency. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

You have a row of dominoes set up; you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is that it will go over very quickly. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Things have never been more like the way they are today in history. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I shall make that trip. I shall go to Korea. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

When you are in any contest, you should work as if there were – to the very last minute – a chance to lose it. This is battle, this is politics, this is anything. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

When you put on a uniform, there are certain inhibitions that you accept. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days’ government had better get out of their way and let them have it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice! – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

An atheist is a man who watches a Notre Dame – Southern Methodist University game and doesn’t care who wins. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Whatever America hopes to bring to pass in the world must first come to pass in the heart of America. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our forces saved the remnants of the Jewish people of Europe for a new life and a new hope in the reborn land of Israel. Along with all men of good will, I salute the young state and wish it well. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence, and energy of her citizens cannot cure. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I have one yardstick by which I test every major problem – and that yardstick is: Is it good for America? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

From behind the Iron Curtain, there are signs that tyranny is in trouble and reminders that its structure is as brittle as its surface is hard. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new-one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The free world must not prove itself worthy of its own past. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In the final choice a soldier’s pack is not so heavy as a prisoner’s chains. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The older I get the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first. A process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If men can develop weapons that are so terrifying as to make the thought of global war include almost a sentence for suicide, you would think that man’s intelligence and his comprehension… would include also his ability to find a peaceful solution. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The clearest way to show what the rule of law means to us in everyday life is to recall what has happened when there is no rule of law. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

An intellectual is a man who takes more words than necessary to tell more than he knows. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The world moves, and ideas that were once good are not always good. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We are tired of aristocratic explanations in Harvard words. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Things are more like they are now than they ever were before. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Don’t think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is no person in this room whose basic rights are not involved in any successful defiance to the carrying out of court orders. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

No one should ever sit in this office over 70 years old, and that I know. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

This desk of mine is one at which a man may die, but from which he cannot resign. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Few women, I fear, have had such reason as I have to think the long sad years of youth were worth living for the sake of middle age. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our pleasures were simple – they included survival. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Unlike presidential administrations, problems rarely have terminal dates. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The United States strongly seeks a lasting agreement for the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests. We believe that this would be an important step toward reduction of international tensions and would open the way to further agreement on substantial measures of disarmament. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

In most communities it is illegal to cry ‘fire’ in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is far more important to be able to hit the target than it is to haggle over who makes a weapon or who pulls a trigger. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Ankles are nearly always neat and good-looking, but knees are nearly always not. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If the United Nations once admits that international disputes can be settled by using force, then we will have destroyed the foundation of the organization and our best hope of establishing a world order. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Politics is a profession; a serious, complicated and, in its true sense, a noble one. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I deplore the need or the use of troops anywhere to get American citizens to obey the orders of constituted courts. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Well, when you come down to it, I don’t see that a reporter could do much to a president, do you? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is no victory at bargain basement prices. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

‘Worry’ is a word that I don’t allow myself to use. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The purpose is clear. It is safety with solvency. The country is entitled to both. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The people of the world genuinely want peace. Some day the leaders of the world are going to have to give in and give, it to them. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I would rather try to persuade a man to go along, because once I have persuaded him, he will stick. If I scare him, he will stay just as long as he is scared, and then he is gone. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I have only one yardstick by which I test every major problem – and that yardstick is: Is it good for America? – Dwight D. Eisenhower

I have found out in later years that we were very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn’t know it then. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

The most terrible job in warfare is to be a second lieutenant leading a platoon when you are on the battlefield. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some years ago I became president of Columbia University and learned within 24 hours to be ready to speak at the drop of a hat, and I learned something more, the trustees were expected to be ready to speak at the passing of the hat. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We are proud because from the beginning of this nation man can walk upright no matter who he is or who she is. He can walk upright and meet his friend or his enemy… And he does not fear that, because that enemy may be in a position of great power… that he can be suddenly thrown in jail to rot here without charges and with no recourse to justice. We have the Habeas Corpus Act and we respect it. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We face a hostile ideology (communism): global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We have heard much of the phrase, ”peace and friendship.” This phrase, in expressing the aspiration of America, is not complete. We should say instead, ”peace and friendship, in freedom.” This, I think, is America’s real message to the rest of the world. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

We won’t get it turned around in one year, or four years or maybe even 10. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

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