29 Legacy Quotes That Might Teach You How to Build One

Have you ever thought about what you will leave behind after you die? Have you done something so meaningful in life that even when you pass away, people will remember you by? If not, it’s time to sober up from the everyday you’ve become lulled in and start making a mark on the world.

Life is so short that it is never too early to start thinking about your legacy. It can take on many forms — starting a family, growing a successful business, or leaving something as a heritage for the whole world. Here are some of the best legacy quotes to inspire you to create your own.

Legacy Quotes That Express the Different Notions of What It Means

#1. “Legacy is not leaving something for people; it’s leaving something in people.” — Peter Strople

#2. “I think the whole world is dying to hear someone say, ‘I love you.’ I think that if I can leave the legacy of love and passion in the world, then, I think I’ve done my job in a world that’s getting colder and colder by the day.” — Lionel Richie

#3. “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” — William Shakespeare

#4. “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy etches into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” — Shannon L. Alder

#5. “That is your legacy on this Earth when you leave this Earth: how many hearts you touched.” — Patti Davis

#6. “Your story is the greatest legacy that you will leave to your friends. It’s the longest-lasting legacy you will leave to your heirs.” — Steve Saint

#7. “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” — Taylor Swift

#8. “Our legacy is how we spend our time and who we spend it with.” — Jim Stengel

#9. “What you do is your history. What you set in motion is your legacy.” — Leonard Sweet

#10. “I want to be remembered as someone who used herself and anything she could touch to work for justice and freedom… I want to be remembered as one who tried.” — Dorothy Height

#11. “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” — Pericles

Legacy Quotes That Inspire You to Leave Something Behind

#12. “‘The little bit you and me might change the world,’ Malloy smiled. ‘It wouldn’t show up until a hundred years after we were dead. We’d never see it.’

‘But it’d be there.’” ― James Jones, From Here to Eternity

#13. “The only thing you take with you when you die is what you leave behind.” — John Allston

#14. “Outlive your life!” — Max Lucado

#15. “Leave your legacy today before you’re gone tomorrow.” — Johnny Wowk

#16. “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.” — Maya Angelou

#17. “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.” — Albert Pine

#18. “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” — William James

#19. “Only the passionate were immortal, it seemed. If you fought, screwed, screamed, laughed, or otherwise experienced life intensely, for better or worse, you left a record. Those who lived a quiet, well-behaved, well-tempered life? Gone without a trace.” ― Magnus Flyte, City of Dark Magic

Legacy Quotes That Emphasize the Importance of What You Bestow on Your Children

#20. “A man cannot leave a better legacy to the world than a well-educated family.” — Thomas Scott

#21. “There is nothing more important than parents passing on a generational legacy of faith and values to their children.” — James Dobson

#22. “The greatest legacy we can leave our children are happy memories. Those precious moments so much like pebbles on the beach that are plucked from the white sand and placed in tiny boxes that lay undisturbed on tall shelves, until one day, they spill out and time repeats itself, with joy and sweet sadness, in the child now an adult.” — Og Mandino

#23. “Are we being good ancestors?” ― Jonas Salk

#24. “The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life but rather a legacy of character and faith.” — Billy Graham

Legacy Quotes That Show Creative Work Leaves a Permanent Mark on the World

#25. “We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” — Chuck Palahniuk

#26. “‘Everyone must leave something behind when he dies,’ my grandfather said. ‘A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do,’ he said, ‘so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching,’ he said. ‘The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.’” — Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

#27. “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin

#28. “I write because, one day, I will be gone, but what I believed and felt will live on.” ― Shannon L. Alder

#29. “And if you don’t live, you have nothing to write about.” — Maynard James Keenan

Final Thoughts

A legacy is more than money and possessions that we leave to our descendants in a will. It has more to do with what our loved ones will have to say about us at our funeral.  People may remember us as loving parents who lead their children on the right path. Or as creative individuals who enriched the world with fruits of their creative endeavors.

Whatever the case, we must think now about what we will pass on. Hopefully, the legacy quotes above will prompt you to do something purposeful and make an impact on those around you.