The Best John F. Kennedy Quotes Quotations

The Best John F. Kennedy Quotes

6.1k votes 1k voters 88k views 150 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Must be a famous or well-known quote. If a quote is cut off you can hover over the text to see the full quote.

A list of the best John F. Kennedy quotes. This list is arranged by which famous John F. Kennedy quotes have received the most votes, so only the greatest John F. Kennedy quotes are at the top of the list. All the most popular quotes from John F. Kennedy should be listed here, but if any were missed you can add more at the end of the list. This list includes notable John F. Kennedy quotes on various subjects, many of which are inspirational and thought provoking.

This list answers the questions, "What are the best John F. Kennedy quotes?" and "What is the most famous John F. Kennedy quote?"

You can see what subjects these historic John F. Kennedy quotes fall under displayed to the right of the quote. Be sure to vote so your favorite John F. Kennedy saying won't fall to the bottom of the list.
List Photo: Freebase/Fair use
    • Women
    • Men
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
G Options B Comments & Embed
  1. 1
    + 397
    - 15

    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

  2. 2
    + 172
    - 8

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

  3. 3
    + 65
    - 2

    We are under exercised as a nation. We look instead of play. We ride instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living. John F. Kennedy

  4. 4
    + 182
    - 11

    This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor. John F. Kennedy

  5. 5
    + 249
    - 18

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

  6. 6
    + 178
    - 11

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy

  7. 7
    + 106
    - 5

    In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. John F. Kennedy

  8. 8
    + 186
    - 12
  9. 9
    + 187
    - 13

    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 the success of liberty. John F. Kennedy

  10. 10
    + 100
    - 5

    The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of this planet. John F. Kennedy

  11. 11
    + 107
    - 6

    World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor -- it requires only that they live together with mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. John F. Kennedy

  12. 12
    + 112
    - 7

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

  13. 13
    + 116
    - 8

    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolutewhere no Catholic prelate would tell the President how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to votewhere no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preferenceand where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him. I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewishwhere no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical sourcewhere no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officialsand where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all. For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jewor a Quakeror a Unitarianor a Baptist. It was Virginias harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jeffersons statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victimbut tomorrow it may be youuntil the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril. Finally, I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday endwhere all men and all churches are treated as equalwhere every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choicewhere there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kindand where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood. That is the kind of America in which I believe. And it represents the kind of Presidency in which I believea great office that must neither be humbled by making it the instrument of any one religious group nor tarnished by arbitrarily withholding its occupancy from the members of any one religious group. I believe in a President whose religious views are his own private affair, neither imposed by him upon the Nation or imposed by the Nation upon him as a condition to holding that office. John F. Kennedy

  14. 14
    + 140
    - 11

    Failure has no friends. John F. Kennedy

  15. 15
    + 96
    - 6

    Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction. John F. Kennedy

  16. 16
    + 129
    - 10

    The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all. John F. Kennedy

  17. 17
    + 74
    - 4

    The world is very different now. For man holds in his hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. John F. Kennedy

  18. 18
    + 58
    - 3

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

  19. 19
    + 60
    - 4

    When we got into office, the thing that surprised me most was to find that things were just as bad as we'd been saying they were. John F. Kennedy

  20. 20
    + 75
    - 6

    In giving rights to others which belong to them, we give rights to ourselves and to our country. John F. Kennedy

  21. 21
    + 66
    - 5

    Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. John F. Kennedy

  22. 22
    + 39
    - 2

    A child miseducated is a child lost. John F. Kennedy

  23. 23
    + 75
    - 7

    We prefer world law, in the age of self-determination, to world war in the age of mass extermination. John F. Kennedy

  24. 24
    + 62
    - 5

    The margin is narrow, but the responsibility is clear. John F. Kennedy

  25. 25
    + 27
    - 1

    There is always inequity in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded, and some men never leave the country, and some men are stationed in the Antarctic and some are stationed in San Francisco. Its very hard in military or in personal life to assure complete equality. Life is unfair. John F. Kennedy

  26. 26
    + 46
    - 3

    Most of us are conditioned for many years to have a political viewpoint -- Republican or Democratic, liberal, conservative, or moderate. The fact of the matter is that most of the problems that we now face are technical problems, are administrative problems. They are very sophisticated judgments, which do not lend themselves to the great sort of passionate movements which have stirred this country so often in the past. -- They deal with questions which are now beyond the comprehension of most men. John F. Kennedy

  27. 27
    + 72
    - 7

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

  28. 28
    + 36
    - 2

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

  29. 29
    + 36
    - 2

    Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. John F. Kennedy

  30. 30
    + 75
    - 8

    If anyone is crazy enough to want to kill a president of the United States, he can do it. All he must be prepared to do is give his life for the president s. John F. Kennedy

  31. 31
    + 54
    - 5

    I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well. John F. Kennedy

  32. 32
    + 60
    - 7

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

  33. 33
    + 23
    - 1

    Economic growth without social progress lets the great majority of people remain in poverty, while a privileged few reap the benefits of rising abundance. John F. Kennedy

  34. 34
    + 23
    - 1

    The unity of freedom has never relied on uniformity of opinion. John F. Kennedy

  35. 35
    + 59
    - 7

    I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. John F. Kennedy

  36. 36
    + 30
    - 2

    A man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers -- and this is the basis of all human morality. John F. Kennedy

  37. 37
    + 42
    - 4

    The great battleground for the defense and expansion of freedom today is the whole southern half of the globe... the lands of the rising peoples. Their revolution is the greatest in human history. They seek an end to injustice, tyranny and exploitation. More than an end, they seek a beginning. John F. Kennedy

  38. 38
    + 28
    - 2

    For of those to whom much is given, much is required. And when at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment on each of usrecording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the stateour success or failure, in whatever office we hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions:First, were we truly men of couragewith the courage to stand up to ones enemiesand the courage to stand up, when necessary, to ones associatesthe courage to resist public pressure, as well as private greed?Secondly, were we truly men of judgmentwith perceptive judgment of the future as well as the pastof our mistakes as well as the mistakes of otherswith enough wisdom to know what we did not know and enough candor to admit it. Third, were we truly men of integritymen who never ran out on either the principles in which we believed or the men who believed in usmen whom neither financial gain nor political ambition could ever divert from the fulfillment of our sacred trust?Finally, were we truly men of dedicationwith an honor mortgaged to no single individual or group, and comprised of no private obligation or aim, but devoted solely to serving the public good and the national interest?Couragejudgmentintegritydedicationthese are the historic qualities which, with Gods help will characterize our Governments conduct in the 4 stormy years that lie ahead. John F. Kennedy

  39. 39
    + 56
    - 8
  40. 40
    + 39
    - 4

    The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring this endeavor will light our bounty and all who serve it, and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. John F. Kennedy

  41. 41
    + 20
    - 1

    To those people in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required, not because the Communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy

  42. 42
    + 41
    - 5

    Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life. John F. Kennedy

  43. 43
    + 36
    - 4

    For only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed. John F. Kennedy

  44. 44
    + 40
    - 5

    Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security. John F. Kennedy

  45. 45
    + 72
    - 19

    A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. John F. Kennedy

  46. 46
    + 47
    - 7

    Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said Because it is there. Well, space is there, and were going to climb it, and the moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. John F. Kennedy

  47. 47
    + 25
    - 2

    Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today. John F. Kennedy

  48. 48
    + 35
    - 4

    We believe that if men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work. John F. Kennedy

  49. 49
    + 18
    - 1

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. John F. Kennedy

  50. 50
    + 38
    - 5

    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

151 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >