Harper Lee is well known for her work “To Kill a Mockingbird,” published in 1960.

It received the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and has since become a modern American literary masterpiece.

Lee has earned several honorary degrees and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contributions to writing.

Truman Capote, a personal friend of hers, needed help with research for his book “In Cold Blood”, so she helped him out. Capote inspired the character Dill Harris in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

We have curated some of the best quotes from Harper Lee for you.


Best Harper Lee Quotes

“Things are never as bad as they seem.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ~ (Harper Lee).

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“It’s better to be silent than to be a fool.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Things are always better in the morning.” ~ (Harper Lee).

Top Harper Lee Quotes

“Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself. It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change. -Atticus Finch.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“As a reader I loathe introductions. Introductions inhibit pleasure, they kill the joy of anticipation, they frustrate curiosity.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Sometimes the Bible in the hands of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hands of another.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“When you’re at the top, there’s only one way to go.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“It’s not time to worry yet.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries.” ~ (Harper Lee).

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“Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“You see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that’s the way I want to live.” ~ (Harper Lee).

Famous Harper Lee Quotes

“Everybody’s gotta learn, nobody’s born knowing.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it – whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, he is trash.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“There’s no substitute for the love of language, for the beauty of an English sentence. There’s no substitute for struggling, if a struggle is needed, to make an English sentence as beautiful as it should be.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Writing is something you’ll never learn in any university or at any school. It’s something that is within you, and if it isn’t there, nothing can put it there.” ~ (Harper Lee).

Popular Harper Lee Quotes

“I do my best to love everybody.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Pass the damn ham, please.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Are you proud of yourself tonight that you have insulted a total stranger whose circumstances you know nothing about?” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Writing is a process of self-discipline you must learn before you can call yourself a writer. There are people who write, but I think they’re quite different from people who must write.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“With him, life was routine; without him, life was unbearable.” ~ (Harper Lee).

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“It’s not necessary to tell all you know.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Writing is simply something you must do. It’s rather like virtue in that it is its own reward.” ~ (Harper Lee).

Inspiring Harper Lee Quotes

“A man can condemn his enemies, but it’s wiser to know them.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Characters make their own plot. The dimensions of the characters determine the action of the novel.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Finders were keepers unless title was proven.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“You can’t really get to know a person until you get in their shoes and walk around in them.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“There’s a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep ’em all away from you. That’s never possible.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Atticus said naming people after Confederate generals made slow steady drinkers.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand.” ~ (Harper Lee).

“Summer, and he watches his children’s heart break. Autumn again and Boo’s children needed him. Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” ~ (Harper Lee).


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