Quotes Suitable for Framing: Elihu Root

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About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are damned fools and should stop.

Elihu Root

Secretary of War and Secretary of State under Theodore Roosevelt, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, US Senator from New York, founder of the Council on Foreign Relations, the life of Elihu Root is a demonstration of the fickleness of fame in history.  For all his numerous accomplishments, he is remembered today for a throw away quote he made about the practice of law in the 1880s.

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  1. It would be interesting to know his background. I have a Root (Polly – b.1812) in my family tree who married Jeremiah Bartholomew in the 1800s. I can trace the Roots back to the 1500s, but the children are sparse. If anything, he’s a distant cousin.


  2. A related post? 🙂 You gave us this quote on the same morning you asked us to quip our thoughts about the pope….

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