Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes


Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) was a five-star general in the United States Army and the 34th President of the United States, serving from 1953 to 1961. He was born in Denison, Texas, and raised in Abilene, Kansas. After graduating from West Point in 1915, he served in the Army and rose through the ranks, becoming a general during World War II and commanding the Allied forces in Europe.

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Following the war, Eisenhower served as the Army’s Chief of Staff before being appointed as the first Supreme Commander of NATO. He was a popular figure and ran for President in 1952 as a Republican, winning a landslide victory over Adlai Stevenson.

As President, Eisenhower focused on domestic issues such as improving the country’s infrastructure, expanding social security, and promoting civil rights. He also oversaw significant foreign policy initiatives, including the end of the Korean War and the Cold War. Eisenhower’s presidency was marked by his commitment to balancing the budget and reducing the size of government.

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After leaving office in 1961, Eisenhower retired to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he lived until his death in 1969. He remains one of the most widely respected Presidents in American history.

The profound wisdom and remarkable insights of Dwight D. Eisenhower on leadership and courage with these empowering quotes.

Famous Dwight D. Eisenhower Quotes

1. “Plans are useless, but planning is essential.”

2. “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

3. “You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.”

4. “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

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

5. “The supreme quality for leadership is integrity.”

6. “Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”

7. “Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.”

8. “No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.”

9. “Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.”

10. “Accomplishment will prove to be a journey, not a destination.”

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11. “If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking… is freedom.”

12. “The middle of the road is all of the usable surface. The extremes, right and left, are in the gutters.”

13. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”

14. “For every obstacle there is a solution. Persistence is the key. The greatest mistake is giving up!”

15. “Always try to associate yourself with and learn as much as you can from those who know more than you do, who do better than you, who see more clearly than you.”

16. “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.”

17. “Pessimism never won any battle.”

18. “Every battle is going to surprise you. No plan ever survives contact with the enemy.”

19. “Art is a universal language and through it each nation makes its own unique contribution to the culture of mankind.”

20. “By mutual respect, understanding and with good will we can find acceptable solutions to any problems which exist or may arise between us.”

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21. “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.”

22. “Before a battle, planning is everything. Once the fighting has begun, it’s worthless.”

23. “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.”

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

24. “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.”

25. “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.”

26. “Unless we progress, we regress.”

27. “There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.”

28. “You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.”

29. “The qualities of a great man are vision, integrity, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.”

30. “If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.”

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31. “Take your job seriously, but not yourself.”

32. “A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done.”

33. “The only things worth counting on are people you can count on.”

34. “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

35. “History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.”

36. “No man is worth your tears, but once you find one that is, he won’t make you cry.”

37. “The only way to win World War III is to prevent it.”

38. “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.”

39. “The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.”

40. “The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!”

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41. “Freedom has been defined as the opportunity for self-discipline.”

42. “God, I hate the Germans…”

43. “I’ll tell you what leadership is. It’s persuasion and conciliation, and education, and patience.”

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

44. “We the people, elect leaders not to rule but to serve.”

45. “We will accept nothing less than full Victory!”

46. “It is better to have one person working with you than three people working for you.”

47. “Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.”

48. “Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”

49. “Without a doubt, psychological warfare has proven its right to a place of dignity in our military arsenal.”

50. “May we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.”

51. “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.”

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52. “Beware the military-industrial complex.”

53. “There are three stages of life: youth, maturity, and ‘My, you’re looking good!’”

54. “The final battle against intolerance is to be fought – not in the chambers of any legislature – but in the hearts of men.”

55. “The spirit of man is more important than mere physical strength, and the spiritual fiber of a nation than its wealth.”

56. “The sergeant is the Army.”

57. “Freedom from fear and injustice and oppression will be ours only in the measure that men who value such freedom are ready to sustain its possession – to defend it against every thrust from within or without.”

58. “Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.”

59. “United in this determination and with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory.”

60. “The best morale exist when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.”

61. “Nothing is easy in war. Mistakes are always paid for in casualties and troops are quick to sense any blunder made by their commanders.”

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62. “To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.”

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

63. “The one quality that can be developed by studious reflection and practice is the leadership of men.”

64. “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.”

65. “Change based on principle is progress. Constant change without principle becomes chaos.”

66. “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.”

67. “We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective.”

68. “Extremes to the right and to the left of any political dispute are always wrong.”

69. “This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.”

70. “Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.”

71. “Peace and justice are two sides of the same coin.”

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72. “I never saw a pessimistic general win a battle.”

73. “We are going to have peace even if we have to fight for it.”

74. “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

75. “Our real problem, then, is not our strength today; it is rather the vital necessity of action today to ensure our strength tomorrow.”

76. “Politics is a profession; a serious, complicated and, in its true sense, a noble one.”

77. “Firmness in support of fundamentals, with flexibility in tactics and methods, is the key to any hope of progress in negotiation.”

78. “Before all else, we seek, upon our common labor as a nation, the blessings of Almighty God.”

79. “Only strength can cooperate. Weakness can only beg.”

80. “Public opinion wins wars.”

81. “In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with the people’s money or their economy or their form of government, be conservative.”

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82. “If our founding fathers were alive today, they’d roll over in their graves.”

83. “May the light of freedom, coming to all darkened lands, flame brightly – until at last the darkness is no more.”

84. “In order to be a leader a man must have followers. And to have followers, a man must have their confidence.”

85. “Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.”

86. “If I didn’t have air supremacy, I wouldn’t be here.”

87. “Never question another man’s motive. His wisdom, yes, but not his motives.”

“Never question another man’s motive. His wisdom, yes, but not his motives.”-Dwight D. Eisenhower

88. “Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.”

89. “A constitutional amendment for congressional term limits could never achieve the blessing of Congress; it could be initiated only by the states.”

90. “There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.”

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91. “There is no victory at bargain basement prices.”

92. “The eyes of the world are upon you…”

93. “Any man who wants to be president is either an egomaniac or crazy.”

94. “Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace.”

95. “Compromise is like the middle of the road; always safer to walk on than the edges.”

96. “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

97. “Among these treasures of our land is water-fast becoming our most valuable, most prized, most critical resource. A blessing where properly used-but it can bring devastation and ruin when left uncontrolled.”

98. “Science seems ready to confer upon us, as its final gift, the power to erase human life from this planet.”

99. “The essence of war is fire, famine, and pestilence. They contribute to its outbreak; they are among its weapons; they become its consequences.”

100. “The gravity of the time is such that every new avenue of peace, no matter how dimly discernible, should be explored.”

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