Bloomingdale CHARACTER COUNTS!® Coalition

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“A person’s character refers to dispositions, values, and habits that determine the way that person normally responds to desires, fears, challenges, opportunities, failures, and successes.” —Michael Josephson

“It [character] is the sum of one’s distinctive traits, qualities, and predilections, and amounts to one’s moral constitution.”  —Michael Josephson

“Character is one’s habitual way of behaving,” —Thomas Lickona, Eric Schaps, and Catherine Lewis

“Character is an intangible, an intangible comprised of knowledge on the one hand and action on the other.  Knowing and doing.  Knowing what is right and doing what is right.  Taking the harder right instead of the easier wrong.”  —Lieutenant General Dave R. Palmer (ret), 53rd Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“Webster’s dictionary defines character as ‘the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person.’  … My definition adds a few more elements to the Webster definition:

Character is… The result of a mixture of our knowledge, philosophies, beliefs, life experiences and interpersonal relations which we have encountered in our lives.  This complex mixture forms our values and habits.  Our values and habits are then expressed in our behaviors and actions.” —Robert Beezat

“Character is a unique collection of characteristics or traits that are centrally important to who you are and how you act.”   —Christian Miller (

The U.S. Air Force Academy defines character as: “One’s moral compass; the sum of those qualities of moral excellence which move a person to do the right thing despite pressures to the contrary.”

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy defines Leaders of Character as:  “A Leader of Character is one who embodies the core values and influences and inspires others to achieve a goal by seeking to discover the truth, deciding what is right, and demonstrating the courage to act accordingly...always.”

From various dictionaries:

“The combination of mental characteristics and behavior that distinguishes a person or group. synonym: disposition.”

“The complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation.”

“The aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.  One such feature or trait; characteristic. Moral or ethical quality:”


“The way someone thinks, feels, and behaves : someone's personalityusually singular.”

“High moral code.”

“The character of a person or place consists of all the qualities they have that make them distinct from other people or places.”