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Nicholas Murray Butler Quotes

Nicholas Murray Butler
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Nicholas Murray Butler
  • Born: 2nd April 1862, Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Died: 7th December 1947, New York City, U.S.
  • Alma mater: Columbia University
  • Occupation: Philosopher and president of Columbia University
  • In office: He was the 12th and longest serving President of Columbia University from 1902 to 1945
  • Political party: Republican
  • Political career: Butler ran for the vice presidency of the U.S. in 1912 in support of republican presidential nominee William Howard Taft, they failed gaining only 8 electoral votes
  • Nickname: Nicholas Miraculous (this was also the name of a book written about Butler by the author Michael Rosenthal)
  • Trivia: He was the joint winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize for his long-standing work on international arbitration
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"Cherish yesterday. dream tomorrow, live like crazy today"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"The United States is in sore need today of an aristocracy of intellect and service. Because such an aristocracy does not exist in the popular consciousness, we are bending the knee to the golden calf of money"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"Persecution on racial or religious ground has absolutely no place in a nation given over to liberty and which calls itself a democracy"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"Modern mathematics, that most astounding of intellectual creations, has projected the mind's eye through infinite time and the mind's hand into boundless space"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"Businesses planned for service are apt to succeed businesses planned for profit are apt to fail"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"The epitaphs on tombstones of a great many people should read: Died at thirty, and buried at sixty"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"Optimism is the foundation of courage"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"What society needs is broad men sharpened to a point"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"Time was invented by the Almighty God in order to give ideas a chance"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"The forty-four-hour week has no charm for me. I'm looking for a forty-hour day"

Nicholas Murray Butler

"America is the best half-educated country in the world"

Nicholas Murray Butler
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Nicholas Murray Butler Biography

Nicholas Murray Butler was a Columbia University stalwart gaining his undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees in philosophy at the university where he was to join first as an assistant and then work his way to the top post by becoming its president where he remained for 43 years.

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During his tenure he doubled the size of the campus and made Columbia into one of the leading universities in North America. Away from academia Butler was an active president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where he served for 20 years in a role that led him to being awarded the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize most notably for his work on getting 31 countries to sign the Pact Of Paris which was a treaty for the renunciation of war as an instrument to resolve international disputes.

He was a close friend to President Theodore Roosevelt and was called upon to share his wisdom on Capitol Hill on numerous occasions. He was without doubt a leading light who helped shape the 20th century because when wise men and philosophers speak even those in power are prepared to listen as their words carry great depth of meaning.

Philosophising professors are usually great for one liners so this is my compilation of 14 of the best Nicholas Murray Butler quotes

Quotes About Nicholas Murray Butler

University archivist Milton Halsey Thomas believed he had stayed too long as he wrote in 1937 that Butler: "should have resigned as president some time ago, but he can't realise his usefullness is over"

Theodore Roosevelt made this remark at a 1942 dinner celebrating his fortieth year as president of Columbia: "Butler was more royal than the royals"

Nicholas Murray Butler quote