FACT CHECK: Did Winston Churchill Say, ‘Attitude Is A Little Thing That Makes A Big Difference’?

David Sivak | Fact Check Editor

The Livestrong Foundation posted an image on Facebook that claims Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”


Verdict: False

Though the expression sounds like something Churchill could have said, there is no evidence he actually said it.

Fact Check:

As leader of the British people during World War II, Churchill embodied the ethos of determination and grit. “You’ll never find a Churchill quote online that says, ‘I give up easily,’ because he was the opposite,” Lee Pollock, interim executive director at the International Churchill Society, told The Daily Caller.

While a positive mindset was Churchill’s “stock and trade,” there is no evidence he ever called attitude a “little thing that makes a big difference.”

“It is a nice ‘Churchill-sounding’ phrase but not something he specifically said,” Pollock said. (RELATED: Did Winston Churchill Say, ‘A Lie Gets Halfway Around The World Before The Truth Has A Chance To Get Its Pants On’?)

Tim Riley, chief curator at the National Churchill Museum, agreed: the quote can’t be attributed to the statesman, but it does have a churchillian ring to it. Riley pointed to a 1954 speech Churchill gave at Guildhall in London. “For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else,” he told the audience.

The saying has been attributed to Churchill since at least 2003, according to the website Quote Investigator.

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David Sivak

Fact Check Editor
Follow David on Twitter Have a fact check suggestion? Send ideas to [email protected].

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