Academy of Achievement Logo
Achiever Gallery
Keys to Success
 + The American Dream
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers

Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream

Sidney Poitier

Oscar for Best Actor

Sidney Poitier: It is not very good that we have really not made a stronger, sustained effort to speak to our children -- the black ones, the white ones, the brown ones -- about this man. This man. It is because of this man, Lincoln, that we have a President Obama. Because the values of Abraham Lincoln were ignited in President Obama. And President Obama ignited some of Lincoln's values in his fellow Americans. And if you were to take a listing of the American population two years, four years, five years ago, the possibility of him being what he is today wouldn't have crossed very many minds. Would not. As a result, here is a guy who says, "I am this " and "I am imperfect, but yes -- and I screwed up here and I did this there, and I'll tell you about it. And if you can tell me where I can improve, I will listen to you. My responsibility is to represent you." Well, I find him absolutely glorious, this guy.
View Interview with Sidney Poitier
View Biography of Sidney Poitier
View Profile of Sidney Poitier
View Photo Gallery of Sidney Poitier

Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State, United States of America

I was told the same thing in 1963 and '64, "We don't need a civil rights law. That's wrong. It's personal property. If they don't want to serve blacks in a restaurant or on a public highway, so what?" So what? Put some shoe polish on your face and see what you think about it! This is a wonderful country. It was unthinkable for me to be Chairman when I came in the army 40 years ago next month. It would have been unthinkable for me to have said, "You're going to be Chairman? Come on!" But it happened. And so, what will happen in one more generation? Maybe we'll get rid of all of these residual problems. But we're not going to get rid of them by just ignoring them or saying, "Gee, just do better," or "It's your fault." We have to do better and to some extent we have to make sure our children don't ignore what their forefathers did to get us to this point. Excellence in performance and high standards are important, but I think it's also appropriate to use tools such as affirmative action to make sure all doors are open.
View Interview with Colin Powell
View Biography of Colin Powell
View Profile of Colin Powell
View Photo Gallery of Colin Powell

Colin Powell

Former Secretary of State, United States of America

Colin Powell: It is a very powerful faith. It just comes from many, many years of watching this country deal with problems. Watching this country go through crisis after crisis. And always being amazed at the resilience that comes out of the heartland of the country, out of the people of the United States. I'm always of the view that no matter what crisis we are going through, whether it's a political crisis, or an economic crisis, in due course, either through an election, or through some other manifestation, the American people make their will known. That will is almost universally a will based on what's right, based on honesty, based on goodness. So, I am as corny as you can be on that subject. But it is the deepest element of my national faith.
View Interview with Colin Powell
View Biography of Colin Powell
View Profile of Colin Powell
View Photo Gallery of Colin Powell

Dan Rather

Broadcast Journalist

Dan Rather: The American Dream to me is freedom. It begins with freedom. It's the freedom to dream. The American Dream is the freedom to dream. The American Dream is being free to pursue the life you want to pursue. Not what somebody else may have in mind for you. Now once you go beyond the fundamental fact of the American Dream is freedom, it's the freedom to be, to dream, to pursue whatever you want to pursue. It takes different forms. It begins with sweet liberty, dreams of freedom, but it continues with such things as work and wealth, dream to pursue a career, to dream to be a journalist, be one. It's also to dream of fame and fortune if that's what you want to do, to dream of service, to be of service to other people. The point is that what makes America a new thing in history is the dedication to both the idea and the ideal that we can have a constitutional republic based on the principle of democracy. It's multi-religious, multi-ethnic, there's tremendous diversity, at the same time have enough unity to ensure that to the maximum degree humanly possible everyone has the freedom to pursue their own dreams. That's the American Dream.
View Interview with Dan Rather
View Biography of Dan Rather
View Profile of Dan Rather
View Photo Gallery of Dan Rather

Browse The American Dream quotes by achiever last name

Previous Page


Next Page