Heroes Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old heroes quotes, heroes sayings, and heroes proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

A hero. You want to be one of those rare human beings who make history, rather than merely watch it flow around them like water around a rock.     

Dan Simmons

I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.     

Maya Angelou

The hero sees values beyond what's possible. That's the nature of a hero. It kills him, of course, ultimately. But it makes the whole struggle of humanity worthwhile.     

John Gardner

We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down.     

Eleanor Roosevelt

The fame of heroes owes little to the extent of their conquests and all to the success of the tributes paid to them.     

Jean Genet

Nothing is given to man on earth - struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible - the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.     

Andrew Bernstein

Real change in society must start from individual initiative.     

The Dalai Lama

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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats.     

Mahatma Gandhi

The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.     

Henry David Thoreau

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.     

Benjamin Disraeli

The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. An immense difference.     

Henry Miller

A hero is a man who is afraid to run away.     

English Proverb

The prudent see only the difficulties, the bold only the advantages, of a great enterprise; the hero sees both; diminishes the former and makes the latter preponderate, and so conquers.     

Johann Kaspar Lavater

Being a hero is about the shortest lived profession on earth.     

Will Rogers

Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials.     

Gerald W. Johnson

Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.     

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.     

Calvin Coolidge

I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.     

Bob Dylan

The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by.     

Felix Adler

True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost.     

Arthur Ashe

The world's battlefields have been in the heart chiefly; more heroism has been displayed in the household and the closet, than on the most memorable battlefields in history.     

Henry Ward Beecher

To have no heroes is to have no aspiration, to live on the momentum of the past, to be thrown back upon routine, sensuality, and the narrow self.     

Charles Horton Cooley

Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.     

F. Scott Fitzgerald

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.     

Christopher Reeve

Not the glittering weapon fights the fight, but rather the hero's heart.     


The hero draws inspiration from the virtue of his ancestors.     

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A hero is someone who rebels or seems to rebel against the facts of existence and seems to conquer them...     

Jim Morrison

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.     

Joseph Campbell

Ultimately a hero is a man who would argue with the gods, and so awakens devils to contest his vision. The more a man can achieve, the more he may be certain that the devil will inhabit a part of his creation.     

Norman Mailer

One brave deed makes no hero.     

John Greenleaf Whittier

The main thing about being a hero is to know when to die.     

Will Rogers

No heroine can create a hero through love of one, but she can give birth to one.     

Jean Paul

You cannot be a hero without being a coward.     

George Bernard Shaw

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.     

Umberto Eco

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.     

Benjamin Disraeli

Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.     

John Barth

Every hero becomes a bore at last.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our heroes are people and people are flawed. Don't let that taint the thing you love.     

Randy K. Milholland

Tell me your heroes and I'll tell you how your life will end up.     

Warren Buffet

The hero shows us what we ought to be, and we make him a hero because we wish to be what he is.     

Richard C. Crepeau

The hero was distinguished by his achievement; the celebrity by his image or trademark. The hero created himself; the celebrity is created by the media. The hero was a big man; the celebrity is a big name.     

Daniel J. Boorstin

In our world of big names, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knowness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs.     

Daniel J. Boorstin

We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.     

Helen Hayes

Every act of compassion makes a difference. Be a hero a better world!     

Robert Alan Silverstein

The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.     


The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The youth, intoxicated with his admiration of a hero, fails to see, that it is only a projection of his own soul, which he admires.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our admiration is so given to dead martyrs that we have little time for living heroes.     

Elbert Green Hubbard

I gave my life for freedom— this I know: / For those who bade me fight had told me so.     

William Norman

A hero is a man who does what he can.     

Romain Rolland

It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion's heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.     

Winston Churchill

The opportunities for heroism are limited in this kind of world: the most people can do is sometimes not to be as weak as they've been at other times.     

Angus Wilson

History selects its heroes and its villains, and few of us resist participation either at the parade or at the guillotine.     

William F. Buckley, Jr.

Heroes are very human, most of them, very easily touched by praise.     

Sir Max Beerbohm

Heroism feels and never reasons, and therefore is always right.     

Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heroic man does not pose; he leaves that for the man who wishes to be thought heroic.     

Elbert Hubbard

Deeds of heroism are but offered to those who, for many long years, have been heroes in obscurity and silence.     

Maurice Maeterlinck

Heroism does not require spiritual maturity.      

Abel Hermant

The history of the world is but the biography of great men.     

John Bartlett

Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.     

John Bartlett

All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.     

John Bartlett

The greatest heroes that the world can know, / To women their original must owe.     

Mary Collier

Hero-worship is strongest where there is at least regard for human freedom.     

Herbert Spencer

One murder made a villain, Millions a hero.     

Beilby Porteus

You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes if it's just in your eyes.     

Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown.     

Tom Hanks

A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.     


A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.     


Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one.     

Baltasar Gracian

Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.     

Peter S. Beagle

That is why embittered people find heroes and madmen a perennial source of fascination, for they have no fear of life or death. Both heroes and madmen are indifferent to danger and will forge ahead regardless of what other people say.     

Paulo Coelho

Heroes don't have the need to be known as heroes, they just do what heroes do because it is right and it must be done.     

Shannon A. Thompson

No, what he didn’t like about heroes was that they were usually suicidally gloomy when sober and homicidally insane when drunk.     

Terry Pratchett

Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.     

Kevin Costner

Friends are the real superheroes. They battle our worst enemies—loneliness, grief, anxiety, depression, fear, and doubt—every time they come around.     

Richelle E. Goodrich

Heroes are those who can somehow resist the power of the situation and act out of noble motives, or behave in ways that do not demean others when they easily can.     

Philip G. Zimbardo

It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.     

H. Norman Schwarzkopf