— Horace Mann American politician 1796 - 1859
Anonymous author; this is attributed to Mann, in The Wordsworth Dictionary of Quotations (1998) edited by Connie Robertson, and similar statements are often attributed to Thomas Paine, but the earliest published variant of such a declaration seem to be in an anecdote about an anonymous Boston woman in 1889:
I have the reputation of being of good moral character. But you know reputation is what people think of us, while character is what God and the angels know of us, and that I don't want to tell.
Anonymous Boston woman, as quoted in Current Opinion (1889)
There is a very great difference — is there not? — between the temporal and the eternal judgments, a very great difference between a man's reputation and a man's character, for reputation is what men think and say of us, while character is what God and the angels know of us.
Price Collier, in Sermons (1892)
Reputation is what men and women think of us, character is what God and the angels know of us.
Attributed to Thomas Paine in A Dictionary of Terms, Phrases,and Quotations (1895) edited by Henry Percy Smith, and Helen Kendrick Johnson