Famous Quotes

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. See our disclosure for more info.

Looking for a new favorite quote? Here are the most famous quotes of all time to get you going.

Quotes are a great way to inspire and express yourself, and some have been used for so long they are now famous in their own right.

You may have even heard a few of these famous sayings used your whole life and don’t know who said them first. Maybe you’ve even used a few and helped them remain famous.

Either way, enjoy these words and expressions from famous people and find some new favorites today.

The Most Famous Quotes

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Famous Virgil quote "Fortune favors the bold"
“Fortune favors the bold.” – Virgil

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

John Lennon

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Joe Kennedy

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Mae West
Famous Descartes quote "I think, therefore I am"
“I think, therefore I am.” – René Descartes

Tough times never last but tough people do.

Robert H. Schuller

Get busy living or get busy dying.

Stephen King

Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford

Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

Alrded Lord Tennyson
Benjamin Franklin quote "Time is money"
“Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

A man is but what he knows.

Francis Bacon

You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.

Wayne Gretzky

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill

Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

Albert Einstein
Famous Julius Caesar quote "I came, I saw, I conquered"
“I came, I saw, I conquered.” – Julius Caesar

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

Mark Twain

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.

John F. Kennedy

The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.

Elie Wiesel
Famous saying "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade"
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” – Elbert Hubbard

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

Babe Ruth

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

Forrest Gump

He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.

Benjamin Franklin

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.

Charles Swindoll
Vince Lombardi quote "Practice makes perfect"
“Practice makes perfect.” – Vince Lombardi

Dream big and dare to fail.

Norman Vaughan

A great man is always willing to be little.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

Neil Armstrong

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

Francis Bacon famous quote "Knowledge is power"
“Knowledge is power.” – Francis Bacon

Quotes from Famous People

Some quotes are well-known simply because they were first said by famous people.

These are famous quotes from historical figures, influential thinkers, and celebrities whose words have influenced others.

Historical Figures

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

David Brinkley

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.

Robert Frost

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

Mother Teresa

The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.

Malcolm X

Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.

John D. Rockefeller
"Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it"
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dalí

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

Nelson Mandela

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit.

Anne Frank

Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.

Mark Twain
"It always seems impossible until it’s done"
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Teddy Roosevelt

People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.

Abraham Lincoln

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

Harriet Tubman

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

Winston Churchill

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Tolstoy quote "If you want to be happy, be"
“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy

The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

Tony Robbins

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.

Audre Lorde

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

May you live all the days of your life.

Jonathan Swift
Disraeli quote "Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst"
“Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” – Benjamin Disraeli

We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Famous Thinkers

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edmund Burke

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.

Stephen Hawking
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

George Eliot

The power of imagination makes us infinite.

John Muir

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

George Addair

We design our lives through the power of choices.

Richard Bach

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.

Les Brown
Michelangelo famous quote "Genius is eternal patience"
“Genius is eternal patience.” – Michelangelo

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

Mark Twain

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.


We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.


Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

Søren Kierkegaard

All that we see and seem is but a dream within a dream.

Edgar Allen Poe
"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none"
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.

Ayn Rand

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.

Bil Keane

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

Norman Vincent Peale quote "Change your thoughts, and you change your world"
“Change your thoughts, and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.

George R. R. Martin

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

Paolo Coelho

Our greatest fear should not be of failure… but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.

Francis Chan

You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.

Maya Angelou

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Joshua J. Marine
Mark Twain famous quote "The secret of getting ahead is getting started"
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow.

Helen Keller

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.

Oscar Wilde

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

John Dalberg-Acton

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

George Santayana

Celebrities and Icons

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible!’

Audrey Hepburn

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.

Margaret Meade
Muhammad Ali quote "Don’t count the days, make the days count"
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Herman Melville

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open.

Frank Zappa

I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

Marilyn Monroe

It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

J.K. Rowling

A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of the sheep.

Lionel Messi
Steve Jobs famous quote "Stay hungry, stay foolish"
“Stay hungry, stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Walt Disney

Originality is nothing but judicious imitation.


A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.

Jim Morrison

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.

Mother Teresa
"You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down"
“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” – Charlie Chaplin

It’s never too late to be who you might have been.

George Eliot

If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?

Joe Namath

Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know.

Bertrand Russell

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.

Bruce Lee

You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.

Dr. Seuss

Ability is of little account without opportunity.

Lucille Ball
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything"
“If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” – Gordon A. Eadie

In order to write about life first you must live it.

Ernest Hemingway

The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.

Frank Sinatra

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

George Bernard Shaw

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.

Isaac Newton

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Thomas Edison 

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

Paolo Coelho
Les Brown famous quote "Life has no limitations, except the ones you make"
“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” – Les Brown

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.


The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

George Orwell

All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

C.S. Lewis

Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.

Hans Christian Andersen

It isn’t where you came from. It’s where you’re going that counts.

Ella Fitzgerald

Short Famous Quotes

Turn your wounds into wisdom.

Oprah Winfrey
Famous Churchill quote "The price of greatness is responsibility"
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.

Frederick Douglas

Happiness is a direction, not a place.

Sydney J. Harris

Great geniuses have the shortest biographies.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

Maya Angelou

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Albert Einstein
"The best way out is always through"
“The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost

Happiness depends upon ourselves.


Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde

I am, therefore I think.

Ayn Rand

Whatever you do, do with all your might.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

All limitations are self-imposed.

Oliver Wendel Holmes
Thomas Carlyle quote "No pressure, no diamonds"
“No pressure, no diamonds.” – Thomas Carlyle

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

Marthe Troly-Curtin

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Al Pacino,
The Godfather Part II

The time is always right to do what is right.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Well done is better than well said.

Benjamin Franklin

There is nothing impossible to him who will try.

Alexander the Great
Edward Bulwer-Lytton famous saying "The pen is mightier than the sword"
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This above all: to thine own self be true.

William Shakespeare

Actions speak louder than words.

Abraham Lincoln

The purpose of our lives is to be happy.

Dalai Lama

All that we are is the result of what we have thought.


Arguing with a fool proves there are two.

Doris Smith

A penny saved is a penny earned.

Benjamin Franklin
Plato saying "Necessity is the mother of invention"
“Necessity is the mother of invention.” – Plato

Famous Sayings

Some quotes are used so often for so long they become part of culture and language.

These famous sayings have been around a long time, and chances are you use a few of them already.

All’s well that ends well.

William Shakespeare

The end doesn’t justify the means.

Sergey Nechayev

Look before you leap.

Charlotte Brontë
John Lyly famous saying "All's fair in love and war"
“All’s fair in love and war.” – John Lyly

Two heads are better than one.

John Heywood

Leave no stone unturned.


The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.

Abraham Lincoln

There’s a sucker born every minute.

P. T. Barnum

Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.

Andy Warhol
Fred Barnard famous quote "A picture is worth a thousand words"
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” – Fred R. Barnard

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A fool and his money are soon parted.

Thomas Tusser

He who angers you conquers you.

Elizabeth Kenny

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Arthur Fletcher

Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Benjamin Rush
Cicero line "Don't put the cart before the horse"
“Don’t put the cart before the horse.” – Cicero

You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Francois de Charette

Beggars can’t be choosers.

John Heywood

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Bert Lance

All good things must come to an end.

Geoffrey Chaucer

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Margaret Wolfe Hungerford

Familiarity breeds contempt.

Geoffrey Chaucer
John Ray famous saying "The early bird catches the worm"
“The early bird catches the worm.” – John Ray

All things come to those who wait.

Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

Thomas Reid

Honesty is the best policy.

Edwin Sandys

Appearances are often deceiving.


Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

Thomas Howell

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

Great minds think alike.

Carl Theodor von Unlanski
Robert Lloyd famous saying "Slow and steady wins the race"
“Slow and steady wins the race.” – Robert Lloyd

We hope you enjoyed these famous quotes and sayings and found some new favorites.

Check out more of the best quotes from famous people below and let us know your favorites in the comments below!

More Quotes from Famous People

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's editor, and has collected and shared inspiring quotes and stories since 2005. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.

5 thoughts on “Famous Quotes”

Leave a Comment