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7 Excellent Examples of Fatherhood in Honor of Father’s Day

If just one sniff of that summer BBQ smoke brings thoughts of Dad to mind this month we’re with you! Dad manages so many responsibilities that we often overlook the fact that he also grills a darn good burger. But, the one thing that should never get overlooked is his dedication to his family. Last month we marveled at  8 Exquisite Examples of Amazing Moms in real-life and fiction and this month it is only appropriate that dads get their due!  

Boston’s Swan Dad

Atticus the “Hero Swan Dad” with his babies, Photo: The Charles River Esplanade

This month Boston’s celebrity swan couple caused a stir when this pair hatched seven babies in the lagoon of the Charles River Esplanade. The swans, who mate for life, doted on their babies and shared their parental duties of feeding, protecting, and keeping them warm. Unfortunately, a week after the babies hatched the mother swan passed away leaving dad to collect the babies and bring them back to the nest. Ever since he has been spotted swimming with them on his back and protecting them from resident geese. Great job, Papa swan!

Barak Obama

Barak Obama with Malia and Sasha, Photo: Michelle Obama

For this public figure, fatherhood sure seems natural but when Barak Obama reflects on his feelings of alienation and loss without a father, he has been quoted as saying “I had to figure out how to be a man on my own.”  And, after having children, he took the job of fatherhood seriously by making time to have dinner with his daughters and engaging in school activities all of which have helped him emerge as a model dad even if he did have one of the toughest jobs on earth.  

Dick Hoyt

Dick Hoyt with son Rick, Photo: Team Hoyt

This running dynamo was often seen behind his son Rick who suffers from cerebral palsy while he pushed Rick in a wheelchair or bicycle or pulled him on a boat through all kinds of endurance races including the famous Boston Marathon. For 32 years, Dick Hoyt selflessly pushed his son Rick through the often grueling 26.2 miles race with determination and love. Rick once wrote to his father that when they were running, he felt as if his disability had disappeared.  

Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin with his eldest son William, Photo:

Darwin is known as the Father of Evolution but he was also considered a very dedicated and loving father to his 10 children. In a time when Victorian fathers were often seen as distant from their brood, Darwin was busy at home observing their development and combining his life as an observant scientist and devoted dad.  

Mrs. Doubtfire

Daniel Hillard thinks outside the box to stay close to his family as the nanny after his wife files for divorce.

The fictional, funny nanny played by Robin Williams was a fallible and vulnerable movie character who was desperate to stay close to his kids. Maybe dressing up as an older, female nanny went a bit too far but who doesn’t fall in love with this dad every time you watch the movie! This father proves he wasn’t afraid to learn lessons and change for the better to keep his family together.  

Chris Gardner

Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, Gardner pulled himself and his son out of homelessness with pure grit and determination. Photo:

This inspirational man was the homeless father whose memoir was made into the movie Pursuit of Happyness. As a young father, Gardner scrambled for safe places for him and his son to sleep and stood in line at soup kitchens without any of his work colleagues ever knowing. After founding his own stock brokerage firm and building stability for himself, Gardner has gone on to fund projects to help the homeless while also dedicating himself to the well-being of children by serving on the board of the National Fatherhood Initiative.

The Road

A father’s love for his child drives their will to survive, Photo:

In this novel, written by Cormac McCarthy, a father and son journey on foot across a post-apocalyptic ash-covered United States. The road they travel is dark and foreboding but the love they share is nothing but the unbearable lightness of being.

Take some time this month to reflect on the best of your own father’s parenting and give him a big hug if you can. See you in the next blog!

Deb Fries is a freelance writer and designer who worked with Julianna Rae in Graphics and Customer Service and now writes for the blog at