On the Uncommon Man

President Herbert Hoover
November 11, 1948


Let us remember that the great human advances have not been brought about by mediocre men and women. They were brought about by distinctly uncommon men and women with vital sparks of leadership. Many of these great leaders were, it is true, of humble origin, but that was not their greatness.

It is a curious fact that when we get sick, we want an uncommon doctor; if we have a construction job, we want an uncommon engineer; when we get into war, we dreadfully want an uncommon admiral and an uncommon general. Only when we get into politics are we content with the common man.

Whatever these forces may be, you are striving to become uncommon men and women. And the future of America will be in your hands. Our full hope of recovery in the moral and spiritual world is a wealth of uncommon men and women among our people. It is our educational institutions that must promote and train them.

Remarks by telephone from New York City to Wilmington College, Wilmington, Ohio

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