Quotation: "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."

Variations: "The harder I work, the luckier I get."

Sources Consulted:

Earliest Appearance in Print: 1947[1]

Earliest Appearance in Print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: 1982?[2]

Other Attributions: Stephen Leacock, Mark Twain, George Allen, Samuel Goldwyn, "old Amish saying"

Comments: Neither this statement nor any variations thereof have ever been found in Thomas Jefferson's writings.


  1. ^ F. L. Emerson, in Reader's Digest, March 1947.  See The Yale Book of Quotations, ed. Fred R. Shapiro (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2006), s.v. “F. L. Emerson.”  Emerson was actually quoted as saying, "I'm a great believer in luck.  The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have."
  2. ^ Administrative Management 43 (1982): 5.  Issues 7-12 were scanned together in Google Books and it is unclear which issue contains this quotation; no preview of the text is available except in search results.