10 Father’s Day Quotes from Famous Figures

I have always been a fan of famous quotes, those poignant one-liners that halt my thoughts for a moment and force me to reconsider my stance on a given subject. Naturally, with Father’s Day approaching, I sought to glean some of that wisdom of the past. First, I must say that as a father myself, I agree with Lydia Maria Child when she says “Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!”

I adore my brave, young Zachary and bright-eyed Tabitha immensely. So you will understand why I was distressed to read several thinkers who apparently took a disparaging view on fatherhood. Two in particular rang out to me.

The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf. -Bertrand Russell

Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.-Gloria Steinem

Even the esteemed Ernest Hemmingway seems to think little of fatherhood, though I confess I am not completely sure what he is getting at when he says To be a successful father there’s one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don’t look at it for the first two years.”

Now, I will be the first to admit that I never did subscribe to too much of what either of the first two says. On the whole, I tend to lean more toward the conservative philosophies. Nevertheless, I began to wonder. Is this the role to which we fathers have relegated ourselves? Are half of our fathers now replaced by Halo’s “Master Chief” while we milk-sop the rest of our children into submission with mothering kindness? I surely could not let these two have the last word on paternity, though, so onward I pressed and was rewarded. Enjoy a few real Father’s Day quotes.

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My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it. – Abraham Lincoln

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. –Theodore Hesburgh

It is a wise child who knows his own father. –Homer

It is a wise father who knows his own child –William Shakespeare; “The Merchant of Venice”

Dad’s voice was a midnight school, teaching deep fathom hours, and the subject was life. – Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes

Finally, I think the whole thing can be summed up by Umberto Eco, the famed post-WWII Italian philosopher (he’s apparently written a few children books too). He believes that “what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.” Yea, Umberto! Well stated. I think Mr. Eco hits the nail on the head. Our fathers, while we were not (and perhaps while they were not) paying attention, were guiding us. We did not learn strength of conviction from his direct preaching about life so much as how he told of the telemarketers that call during dinner time.

I offer my deepest appreciations to the folks behind The Quotation Page. They harbor a wealth and variety of knowledge, and all my Father’s Day quotes came from them, with the exception of Homer and Hesburgh, which comes from Thinkexist.com.