Great Minds Enjoy Discussing Ideas

What have you discussed today?

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” is a popular saying, first cited in this form in 1931. The saying has been attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), but it’s uncertain if she ever said it. The saying has also been attributed to Admiral Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986), but he admitted in a 1959 magazine article that the saying wasn’t his.

The earliest version appears to be from Printers’ Ink of 1927: [Printers’ Ink Volume 139, Issue 2 1927 Pg. 87:]

“The best minds discuss ideas; the second ranking talks about things; while the third and lowest mentality — starved for ideas — gossips about people.”

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