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The Best John F. Kennedy Quotes

Updated June 14, 2019 9.6k votes 1.7k voters 110.8k views150 items

List RulesMust 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 JFK quotes and sayings 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.

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  • 1
    514
    49
  • 2
    366
    35

    Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

  • 3
    311
    24
  • 4
    269
    19

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

  • 5
    263
    22

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

  • 6
    275
    27

    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.

  • 7
    245
    25

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

  • 8
    180
    8

    Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.

  • 9
    181
    13

    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.

  • 10
    182
    15

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

  • 11
    187
    19

    Failure has no friends.

  • 12
    168
    13

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

  • 13
    152
    9

    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.

  • 14
    151
    12

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

  • 15
    137
    8

    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.

  • 16
    159
    23

    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.

  • 17
    129
    8

    The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shinning.

  • 18
    125
    8

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

  • 19
    122
    10

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

  • 20
    116
    9

    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.

  • 21
    116
    9

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

  • 22
    106
    5

    A child miseducated is a child lost.

  • 23
    110
    10

    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.

  • 24
    98
    7

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

  • 25
    101
    10

    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.