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The American Dream has been a long-held ideal in America from its founding. This is the idea that hard work – and hard work alone – will get you where you want to be. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and succeed despite every challenge thrown your way. Americans have a hope that no matter their position at birth, they can and will eventually achieve success. Some people believe this means wealth and fame while others only hope to attain a stable home and job, happiness in their families, and a bright future for their children. No matter what the American Dream means to you personally, that is the beauty of it, we can still achieve what we set our mind to. Many immigrants come to America with the American Dream ingrained into who they are and succeed because of the nature of American society and this ideal.
This list of quotes encompasses some of the most inspiring statements on the American Dream and those who have risen to attain the desires in their hearts with the help of this amazing ideal.
Our favorite quotes about the American Dream
- “The American Dream belongs to all of us.”-Kamala Harris, California Attorney General
- “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. (It is not) “… a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”-James Truslow Adams, defining the American Dream in Epic of America, 1931.
- “For me, the essence of the great American Dream is spiritual. I believe that our Constitution is inspired and that it is based on principles that are timeless and universal. This is the reason why 95% of all written constitutions throughout the world are modeled after our Constitution.” -Stephen Covey
- “I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream.” -Bruce Springsteen
- “The American Dream I believe in is one that provides anyone willing to work hard enough with the opportunity to succeed.” -Tammy Duckworth
- “To me, the American Dream is being able to follow your own personal calling. To be able to do what you want to do is incredible freedom.” -Maya Lin
- “The American Dream is one of success, homeownership, college education for one’s children, and have a secure job to provide these and other goals.” – Leonard Boswell
- “I’m very pro-American – my entire family escaped poverty in Italy because they rightly believed in the American dream.” – Camille Paglia
- “A basic element of the American dream is equal access to education as a lubricant of social and economic mobility.” – Nicholas Kristof
- “I define the American dream as the ability to imagine a way that you want your life to turn out, and have a reasonable hope that you can achieve that.” – David Henry Hwang
- “Only in America can someone start with nothing and achieve the American Dream. That’s the greatness of this country.” – Rafael Cruz
- “The American Dream is that any man or woman, despite of his or her background, can change their circumstances and rise as high as they are willing to work.” – Fabrizio Moreira
- “The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive, and passion, it’s possible to achieve the American dream.” – Tommy Hilfiger
- “My own American Dream was to serve my country as best I could and make a difference in America – and in the world.” – Buzz Aldrin
- “I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell
- “When it comes to the American dream, no one has a corner on the market. All of us have an equal chance to share in that dream.” – J. C. Watts
- “The American dream, what we were taught was, grow up, own a car, own a house. I think that dream’s completely changing. We were taught to keep up with the Joneses. Now we’re sharing with the Joneses.” – Brian Chesky
- “Our workforce and our entire economy are strongest when we embrace diversity to its fullest, and that means opening doors of opportunity to everyone and recognizing that the American Dream excludes no one.” – Thomas Perez
- “The American dream of rags to riches is a dream for a reason – it is hard to achieve; were everyone to do it, it wouldn’t be a dream but would rather be reality.” -Robert Fulton
- “The American dream does not come to those who fall asleep.” -Gerald Ford
- “The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.” -Ronald Reagan
- “The American Dream is a term that is often used but also often misunderstood. It isn’t really about becoming rich or famous. It is about things much simpler and more fundamental than that.” -Marco Rubio
- “The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” -James Truslow Adams
- “I’m gonna fight, and I’m gonna make something out of nothing. That’s pretty much the American dream. So, for me, the realization that I could speak to people like that came first on a small scale. Then it just started happening. I started having this vibration.” -Jay-Z
- “Most people are looking for security, a nice, safe, prosperous future. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s called the American Dream.” -Lee Iacocca
- “My fellow Americans, this is an amazing moment for me. To think that a once scrawny boy from Austria could grow up to become governor of the state of California and then stand here… then stand here in Madison Square Garden and speak on behalf of the president of the United States – that is an immigrant’s dream. It is the American dream.” -Arnold Schwarzenegger
- “The American Dream is one of the greatest ideas in the history of human achievement . . . It thrives today in an age when its core components of freedom and opportunity are open to more Americans than ever before. It holds a real, identifiable place in the American heart and mind, and it informs the aspirations of everyone from farmers to software developers, from detectives to bankers, from soldiers to social workers . . . It defines us as a people, even as we add to its meaning with each new chapter in our national experience and our individual actions.” -Dan Rather
- “The American Dream means being part of a society that allows you to be or do whatever you want, and to have a sense that your individual optimism and hard work will be rewarded. It exists outside of the U.S. as well as inside. People continue to come here because they want to improve their lives, they want to be able to support themselves and they want to live in freedom. A lot of people who criticize this country still send their children here to study.” -Madeleine Albright
- “I have lived the American dream. Even my worst days as attorney general have been better than my father’s best days.” -Alberto Gonzales
- “In a way, J.F.K. was the high point of the American dream. In order to go to the moon and back, all we did was say we could – and we did.” -Richard Dreyfuss
- “So the America I came to know growing up was filled with all the excitement and possibilities found in living the American dream.” -Mia Love
- “The American dream has now morphed into an expectation. And if it isn’t provided, or if it doesn’t happen, then people feel cheated.” -Rush Limbaugh
- “The American Dream is still alive out there, and hard work will get you there. You don’t necessarily need to have an Ivy League education or to have millions of dollars startup money. It can be done with an idea, hard work, and determination.” -Bill Rancic
- “We are now embarked on another venture to put the American dream to work in meeting the new demands of a new day. Once again we must start where men would improve their society have always known they must begin – with an educational system restudied, reinforced, and revitalized.” -Lyndon B. Johnson
- “I lived the true American dream because I was able to pursue what I set as my goals at a very young age.” -Mario Andretti
- “I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare.” -Eldridge Cleaver
- “It was the combination of hard work and a hand up that allowed me to become one of the first women to fly in combat missions and achieve my American Dream.” -Tammy Duckworth
- “Forty-two years ago, I came to America from communist Cuba so I might have a better way of life, a freer way of life – a more democratic way of life. I wanted to live the American Dream where if you worked hard and put your mind to the task, anything was possible.” -Mel Martinez
- “I have lived the American dream, and that is the dream I want for our children and all children everywhere.” -Mike Medavoy
Enjoy these quotes about the American Dream
As you can see, many successful people attribute their success to the American Dream and many believe the future of America relies on reinforcing this ideal for future generations. It is a concept that says even if I don’t succeed, my children can take what I have done and be propelled into the life they want to live thanks to my sacrifices and my hard work. The American Dream seems then to be less about what we can achieve in our lifetimes for ourselves but more about what we can achieve for our children to complete in their lifetimes.