My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

—Clarence Budington Kelland

My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.”

—Harmon Killebrew

A father carries pictures where his money used to be.

—Author unknown

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

—Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi,” Atlantic Monthly, 1874

The greatest gift I ever had

Came from God; I call him Dad!

—Author unknown

Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.

—Author unknown

Character is largely caught, and the father and the home should be the great sources of character infection.

—Frank H. Cheley

You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.

—Polish proverb

A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season.

—Author unknown

Father of fathers, make me one,

A fit example for a son.

—Douglas Malloch

Directly after God in heaven comes a Papa.

—Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a boy

Noble fathers have noble children.


I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work fifteen and sixteen hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here [to the U.S., from Italy] uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example.

—Mario Cuomo

A good father is worth a hundred teachers.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Until you have a son of your own, you will never know the joy, the love beyond feeling that resonates in the heart of a father as he looks upon his son. You will never know the sense of honor that makes a man want to be more than he is and to pass something good and hopeful into the hands of his son.

Kent Nerburn, Letters to My Son

To her the name Father was another name for love.

—Fanny Fern 

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