186 Hero Quotes to Inspire Everyone to Make a Difference

These hero quotes show that you don’t have to be a comic book star to be a hero in real life. 

It’s easy to fall for the lie that only certain people can be heroes.

However, heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Tell us your favorite hero quotes in the comment section below.

What are the benefits of reading these hero quotes?

Everyday heroes, such as servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and first responders, protect us.

Then, some teachers and people stand up for children and others who can’t protect themselves. 

Any of us can be a hero.

The hero quotes and sayings below will help:

  • inspire you to make a difference in your everyday life
  • define what makes a hero
  • you come with the words to thank the heroes you encounter

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

Hero quotes on what defines one

1. “To be a hero or a heroine, one must give an order to oneself.” – Simone Weil

Hero Quotes to Inspire

2. “You cannot be a hero without being a coward.” – George Bernard Shaw

short Hero Quotes

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3. “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

meaningful Hero Quotes

4. “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the power they are graced with.” – Brodi Ashton

powerful Hero Quotes

5. “Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats.” – Mahatma Gandhi

motivational Hero Quotes

6. “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.” – Bob Dylan

Hero Quotes about responsibility

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7. “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christoper Reeve

Hero Quotes about overcoming obstacles

8. “A hero is someone who, in spite of weakness, doubt or not always knowing the answers, goes ahead and overcomes anyway.” – Christopher Reeve

Hero Quotes about overcoming weakness

9. “To be heroic is to be courageous enough to die for something; to be inspirational is to be crazy enough to live a little.” – Criss Jami

Hero Quotes to inspire courage

10. “The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.” – Umberto Eco

real Hero Quotes

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Meaningful hero quotes

11. “Nothing is given to man on earth – the 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

powerful Hero Quotes

12. “To be heroic may mean nothing more than this then, to stand in the face of the status quo, in the face of an easy collapse into the madness of an increasingly chaotic world and represent another way.” – Mike Alsford

Hero Quotes to inspire you

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13. “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.” – Fred Rogers

Hero Quotes about helping children

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14. “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 

Hero Quotes on being optimistic

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15. “The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men.” – Henry David Thoreau

Hero quotes and sayings to inspire you

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16. “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

brave Hero Quotes

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17. “Heroism is not only in the man, but in the occasion.” – Calvin Coolidge

Heroism Quotes

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18. “Real heroes are men who fall and are flawed, but win out in the end because they’ve stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.” – Kevin Costner

Heroes Quotes

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19. “People are not born heroes or villains; they’re created by the people around them.” – Chris Colfer

villain and Hero Quotes

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20. “The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero act. An immense difference.” – Henry Miller

Hero Quotes that will inspire you to action

Everyday hero quotes

21. “I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.” – Florence Nightingale

great Hero Quotes

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22. “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” – Maya Angelou

Hero Quotes to make you better

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23. “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

Heroes Quotes and sayings

24. “A hero is a man who is afraid to run away.” – English Proverb

Hero quotes and proverbs

25. “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

Hero Quotes about friends

26. “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.” – Hercules

true Hero Quotes

27. “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

Hero Quotes that will make your day

28. “True heroism is remarkably sober, very dramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others, at whatever cost.” – Arthur Ashe

true Heroism quotes

Hero quotes to show appreciation for those who make a difference in our lives

29. “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” – Winston E. Churchill

Hero quotes to empower you

30. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

Hero quotes about gratitude

31. “My heroes are those who risk their lives every day to protect our world and make it a better place—police, firefighters, and members of our armed forces.” – Sidney Sheldon

32. “Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves; as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln

33. “For the veteran, thank you for bravely doing what you’re called to do so we can safely do what we’re free to do.” – Unknown

34. “How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” – Maya Angelou

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Hero quotes that will make your day

35. “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

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36. “A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.” – Debit Mazar

37. “Don’t forget, you are the hero of your own story.” – Greg Boyle

38. “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.” – Plato

39. “No hero is mortal till he dies.” – W.H. Auden

40. “The hero is never the star of the story.” – Marilyn Manson

41. “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.” – Norman Schwarzkpof

42. “For one thing, I don’t think that anybody in any war thinks of themselves as a hero.” – Steven Spielberg

43. “Dr. Martin Luther King is not a black hero. He is an American hero.” – Morgan Freeman

44. “A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.” – Novalis

45. “A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

46. “What makes Superman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely. From an acting point of view, that’s how I approached the part.” – Christopher Reeve

47. “A hero is someone right who doesn’t change.” – George Foreman

More hero quotes and sayings

48. “The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.” – Joss Whedon

49. “Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one.” – Baltasar Gracian

 50. “Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look.” – Ronald Reagan

51. “Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it’s my responsibility to make it better.” – Tom McCall

52. “The hero, in living her own life, in being true to herself; radiates a light by which others may see their own way.” – Laurence Boldt

53. “If you look inside yourself, and you believe, you can be your own hero.” – Mariah Carey

54. “In television, to be a hero and look like I look, that really stuck with me.” ― Corey Hawkin

55. “Being a hero is not necessarily wearing a mask and cape and saving the world, it can be as simple as doing the right thing.” – Steven Magee

56. “True heroes know that the most heroic thing about being a hero is not letting anyone else know that you are one.” – Craig D. Lounsbrough

57. “Heroes are made because they are moved. Not in their head, but in their heart.” – Eric Ludy

58. “Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible. It just means that you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed.” – Rick Riordan

59. “You were created a hero and born to prove it. Stand on challenges and make a difference.” – Israelmore Ayivor

60. “If you have the courage and you have the heart, that hero just might be you.” – Waylon Jennings

Hero quotes about who can be a hero and what it takes

61. “A hero is a man who does what he can.” — Romain Rolland

62. “History will decide if I’m a villain or a hero.” — Harlan Ellison

63. “Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.” — John Barth

64. “A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown.” — Tom Hanks

65. “All of us start from zero. We take the right decision and become a hero.” — Govinda

66. “The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.” — Gene Hackman

67. “Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.” — Bob Riley

68. “It’s not easy to be a hero. You do it because of what you believe, not because of what other people deserve.” — Patty Jenkins

69. “When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.” — Elvis Presley

70. “The only difference between a hero and the villain is that the villain chooses to use that power in a way that is selfish and hurts other people.” — Chadwick Boseman

Hero quotes to inspire you to reach your own inner hero

71. “I prefer a real villain to a false hero.” — Killer Mike

72. “There’s no hero without a villain.” —  Mark Pellegrino

73. “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

74. “I think that we all do heroic things, but hero is not a noun, it’s a verb.” — Robert Downey, Jr.

75. “There is a hero built in all of us.” ― Michael Israel

76. “A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around.” — E. W. Howe

77. “History contains heroes, but no one is a hero entirely, and no one is a hero for very long.” ― Alexandra Petri

78. “My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don’t really know what’s happening down there. Who is the real hero?” — Mitch Hedberg

79. “I’m not a hero. The military is.” ― Richard Phillips

80. “When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.” — Tecumseh

Hero quotes to remind us we all can be one

81. “Real heroes don’t wear capes. Real superheroes wear uniforms and badges and stethoscopes! Real superheroes are members of our military, law enforcement, and first responders. Pretend superheroes wear capes!” -Dean Cain

82. “Heroes are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary.” -Gerard Way

83. “It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes.” –Louis Pasteur

84. “The best thing I did was to choose the right heroes.” –Warren Buffett

85. “Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They’re just braver five minutes longer.” -Ronald Reagan

86. “Day after day, ordinary people become heroes through extraordinary and selfless actions to help their neighbors.” -Sylvia Mathews Burwell

87. “As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.” -Ernest Hemingway

88. “My heroes are just everyday people who work hard, are honest and have integrity.” -Jordin Sparks

89. “I have lots of heroes: anyone and everyone who does whatever they can to leave the natural world better than they found it.” -Sylvia Earle

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90. “Children must be impressed with the fact that the greatest heroes are those who fight to help others, not those who fight for power or glory. They must be made to understand that victory does not prove that the thing fought for is right, nor that defeat proves that a cause is wrong.” -Ellen Key

Hero quotes for anyone brave

91. “Courage doesn’t always involve physical heroism in the face of death. It doesn’t always require giant leaps worthy of celebration. Sometimes, courage is the willingness to speak the truth about what you see and to own what you say.” -Seth Godin

92. “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

93. “We all want heroes and we all want somebody to look up to.” — Stacie Orrico

94. “How do I define a hero?  A hero is a person who courageously contributes under even the most trying circumstances; a hero is an individual who acts unselfishly and who demands more from himself or herself than others would expect; a hero is a man or woman who defies adversity by doing what he or she believes is right in spite of fear.” -Tony Robbins

95. “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.  The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” -Helen Keller

96. “I believe that you and I – and everyone we’ll ever meet – has the inborn capacity to be heroic, to take daring, courageous, and noble steps to make life better for others, even when in the short term it seems to be at our own expense. The capacity to do the right thing, to dare to take a stand and make a difference, is within you now.” -Tony Robbins

97. “This world is your best teacher. There is a lesson in everything. There is a lesson in each experience. Learn it and become wise. Every failure is a stepping stone to success. Every difficulty or disappointment is a trial of your faith. Every unpleasant incident or temptation is a test of your inner strength. Therefore nil desperandum. March forward hero!” -Swami Sivananda

98. “Down these mean streets a man must go who is neither tarnished nor afraid.” -Raymond Chandler

99. “Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage; the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.” –Jean-Jacques Rousseau

100. “The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.” -Benjamin Disraeli

Hero Quotes That Will Elevate Your Mind

101. “It’s better to talk about a dead hero than a living zero.” — Umar Hassan

102. “My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them.” — Bono.

103. “The common denominator of our heroes is that each set their own course.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

104. “Don’t forget who your heroes are, what they mean to you, and why they mean that to you.” — Gale Harold.

105. “Heroes act in spite of their fear, while the rest of us act because of our fear.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

106. “Genuine heroes – no batteries needed – bring lots of open-mind and at least a little courage.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

107. “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

108. “A hero may or may not lead other people, but all heroes lead themselves.” — Jonathan Lockwood Huie

109. “Sacrifices will make you a martyr, victories will make you a hero.” — Amit Kalantri

110. ” A hero without faults is like an omelet without little bits of eggshell in it.” — Colin Cotterill

Hero Quotes To Help You Embrace The Heroism Spirit In You  

111. “The simple act of caring is heroic.” — Edward Albert

112. “Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed.” — Peter S. Beagle

113. “Without heroes, we are all plain people and don’t know how far we can go.” — Bernard Malamud

114. “Heroes, whatever high ideas we may have of them, are mortal and not divine. We are all as God made us and many of us much worse.” — John Osborne

115. “Heroes always make the right decision; I find that seldom happens in my life.” — Judd Nelson

116. “A hero has faced it all: he need not be undefeated, but he must be undaunted.” — Andrew Bernstein

117. “What is a hero without love for mankind.” — Doris Lessing

118. “After all, the ordinary hero hiding in each of us is often the most powerful catalyst for change.” — Tate Taylor

119. “Heroes have always served as a reflection of their times, a template of who we are and what we want to be.” — David Grann

120. “My heroes are and were my parents. I can’t see having anyone else as my heroes.” — Michael Jordan

Hero Quotes To Help You Overcome Fear

121. “You have to do bad things in order to become a hero. You have to make sacrifices.” ― John Barrowman

122. “I would describe a hero as a person who has no fear of life, who can face life squarely.” ― Alexander Lowen

123. “Growing up, my parents were my heroes, in the way they conducted their lives.” ― Chris Hemsworth

124. “Everyone who does the best he can is a hero.” ― Josh Billings

125. “Some heroes are made in a moment. Others are defined by a lifetime.” ― John F. MacArthur

126. “There are so many heroes just walking around in everyday life. It blows me away.” ― Charisma Carpenter

127. “Heroes and cowards feel the same fear and action creates opportunities.” ― Garrison Wynn

128. “I think all of us have a hero and a villain in us.” ― Anson Mount

129. “I went from zero to my own hero.” ― Katy Perry

130. “Compared to the coward that never made the attempt, he is a hero.” ― Swami Vivekananda

Hero Quotes To Remind You How Strong You Can Be

131. “Every hero must have the courage to be alone, to take the journey for himself.” ― Joseph Campbell

132. “There are always these moments in life when the limits of suffering are reached and we become heroes and heroines.” ― Katherine Mansfield

133. “The hero wanders, the hero suffers, the hero returns. You are that hero.” ― Steven Pressfield

134. “It is the surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes.” ― Lajos Kossuth

135. “Every hero doesn’t do this great big hero thing. They do the simple thing over and over… and they stick to it.” ― Matthew McConaughey

136. “The real hero is the man who fights even though he is scared.” ― George S. Patton

137. “Through adversity we find our heroes.” ― Steve Gleason

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138. “Fools boast of what they will do. Heroes do it.” ― Joe Abercrombie

139. “No true hero ever believes that they are one.” ― Neal Shusterman

140. “My heroes have always been the hardworking and unflappable. Those who light a candle rather than curse the darkness.” ― Matthew Gray Gubler

Hero Quotes for Their Courage To Help Others

141. “A hero overcomes the fear, the pain, the jitters, the whatever and still behaves heroically.” — Jason Sacks

142. “A hero is any person who uses wisdom and courage to meet life head-on.” — Alvin Granowsky

143. “Heroes use the tough times in their lives to learn, to grow, to help others, and get help for themselves.” — Richard Kagan

144. “Hero or victim? it’s all in the perspective.” — Noah Blumenthal

145. “A hero is someone you look up to and have respect for. They seem to always know all the right things to say.” — Mark J. Britzman

146. “But one major thing a hero is to me is someone who helps, listens, and heals.” — Storm Lake St. Mary’s

147. “A hero is someone who puts others first before himself and cares for the welfare of those around him before even thinking about his own self.” — Chrissy Yacoub

148. “The hero is one who wants what is best for another person.” — Irving A. Fradkin

149. “Heroes are just people who demonstrate the courage to step through their fears and follow their hearts.” — Ray Madaghiele

150. “Real heroes are all around us. They face challenges with fear and grace.” — Robert Carey

Hero Quotes To Appreciate Their Superiority

151. “I have to work harder than anyone else to make it! I’ll never catch up otherwise. I want to be like you—like you! The strongest hero.” — Izuku Midoriya

152. “Heroes have a rough time because they stand up when they ought not to, they speak when they ought not to; they always have to go that extra mile.” — George Foreman

153. “Being a hero doesn’t mean you succeed in saving the day. It just means you tried.” — James Marsters

154. “I used to be embarrassed by my mom, but now I know what she is-she’s a hero.” — Carrie Jones

155. “It is very difficult to be a hero without an audience, although, in a sense, we are each the hero of a peculiar, half-ruined film called our life.” — Sebastian Barry

156. “My reason for coming out isn’t to be some sort of hero.” — Sheryl Swoopes

157. “If you do this, we just might win. But there’s no time to hesitate, so do it now! You wanna be a hero, don’t you?! Then let’s pass this test.” — Kyoka Jiro

158. “Stop talking, I will win. That’s what heroes do!” — Katsuki Bakugou

159. “A hero’s job is to risk his life to turn his promises into reality!” — Izuku Midoriya

160. “Cowards suffer, heroes enjoy.” — Henry David Thoreau

Hero Quotes About Being Courageous

161. “A hero is not a champion of things become, but of things becoming; the dragon to be slain by him is precisely the monster of the status quo.” — Joseph Campbell

162. “Your heroes will help you find good in yourself.” — Randy Travis

163. “Societies need heroes. So we travel to places where the revisionists cannot dismantle the great.” — David Gemmell

164. “The people who carried the burden, who marked in strange field in search of an answer, and ended their journeys an unwilling hero.” — Phil Ochs

165. “To joke in the face of danger is the supreme politeness, a delicate refusal to cast oneself as a tragic hero.” — Edmond Rostand

166. “Real heroes are others, those who have suffered in their soul, in their heart, in their spirit, in their mind, for their loved ones. Those are the real heroes. Im just a cyclist.” — Gino Bartali

167. “Heroes put to the test, keeping a promise, doing their best.” — Waylon Jennings

168. “God is raising up His heroes and the time will come when they will appear and the world will wonder where they came from.” — Aiden Wilson Tozer

169. “Just another lonely broken hero picking up the pieces of my mind. Running out of faith and hope and reason, I’m running out of time.” — Ozzy Osbourne

170. “If we take a small step in extolling peacemakers as much as honoring war heroes, we will be making a giant leap towards peace.” — Newton Lee

Hero Quotes to Unleash Your Inner Hero

171. “There’s a hero if you look inside your heart. You don’t have to be afraid of what you are.” ― Mariah Carey

172. “You can tell a lot about a person by who his or her heroes are.” ― Steve Jobs

173. “Only one who liberates himself from his psychological desires and fears indeed in truth qualify as liberation hero.” ― Velupillai Prabhakaran

174. “Adversity creates heroes.” ― Picabo Street

175. “In victory, the hero seeks the glory, not the prey.” ― Philip Sidney

176. A hero is a man who stands up manfully against his father and in the end victoriously overcomes him.” ― Sigmund Freud

177. “When the heroes go off the stage, the clowns come on.” ― Heinrich Heine

178. “The hero journey is inside of you; tear off the veils and open the mystery of your self.” ― Joseph Campbell

179. “He whom prosperity humbles, and adversity strengthens, is the true hero.” ― Josh Billings

180. “A real hero is somebody who will get up when he can’t.” ― Jack Dempsey

181. “I was raised in a very, very loving household. I had quite unusual parents, and my father has always been my hero.” ― Roxie Roker

182. “My sister is my biggest Broadway hero.” ― Andrew Keenan-Bolger

183. “I consider everyone a hero, to be honest.” ― Elliot Knight

184. “My dad’s a hero in a lot of ways. He was a 1960s and 1970s hippie and a member of the protest crowd.” ― Jake Tapper

185. “Every little girl looks up to her mom so much – that’s your first hero.” ― Halima Aden

186. “The day I became a hero, my dream was realised. Everything else is a bonus.” ― Vijay Sethupathi

What did you learn from these hero quotes?

The hero quotes above can inspire you to great action.

They can motivate you to be a hero in your own life or to be a hero to others.

They can also be a great reminder to thank the heroes that are in your own life.

It could be someone that made a positive difference in your life when you were a child or a soldier that fought to protect you. 

We all have choices to make each day on how we’re going to live.

And we can always choose to live in a way that makes a positive difference for others.

If you love reading hero quotes, check out this collection of Lone Ranger quotes.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these hero quotes and sayings?

Which of the quotes resonated with you best?

Let us know your opinion in the comment section below.

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  1. matthew

    March 3, 2021 at 1:52 PM

    I learned a lot from these great quotes

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