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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.

Every day we are protected by heroes such as servicemen and women, police officers, firefighters, and first responders.

Then, there are those such as teachers and people that stand up for children and others that can’t protect themselves. 

Any one of us can be a hero. The hero quotes and sayings below will help inspire you to make a difference in your everyday life. 

Don’t forget to also read these superhero quotes to inspire the best version of you.

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

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

If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of Bob Dylan quotes from the iconic Folk singer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you’re enjoying this article, make sure to also check out these military quotes to honor our heroes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to also check out these warrior quotes on having an unbeatable mind.

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

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. “Everyone is the hero of their own story.” – Barbara Nickless

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

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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. “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 Schwarzkopf

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

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. “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.” — Debi Mazar

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

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

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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. “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.” -Nelson Mandela

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

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 of making sure 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.

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.

Stephanie Kirby
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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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