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A Look at Some of America’s Presidential Fathers

Many of the U.S. presidents were fathers as well, balancing their responsibilities to the nation with those to their families.

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Father’s Day is a time to celebrate dads and to thank them for all that they have given their children. Being a parent is difficult, but imagine that responsibility coupled with being the leader of a nation. On this day, let’s look at the presidential fathers.

Author Joshua Kendall wrote a book titled First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama, in which he talks about the commanders in chief and their children.

John Adams was the second president of the U.S. Kendall noted that he was “an authoritarian father and authoritarian president.” He and his wife had six children, four of whom survived.

Founding Father Thomas Jefferson became America’s third president in 1801. He believed in family values. Jefferson and his wife Martha had six children, but only two daughters survived to adulthood. According to Kendall, Jefferson was “America’s most articulate advocate of freedom,” however, “with his daughters he was a control freak.”

Historians suggest Jefferson may have had six children with a slave at his plantation, Sally Hemings. The children were born into slavery, but it seems two were allowed to “run away” to the North. Others were freed in Jefferson’s will, after his death.

Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president at the age of 42. He was the youngest president in the nation’s history. Teddy, as he was affectionately called, enjoyed playing with his children. “He had a young family and they loved playing in the White House,” Kendall said. “He used to stop working at three o’clock and go and play tag in the attic.”

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president, had three daughters with his first wife, Ellen. Just two years into his presidency, Ellen died, and their oldest child Margaret took over the duties of First Lady to the White House. The girls were well educated and talked endlessly with their father about universal suffrage.

Some former leaders guide their children into working in the family business or help them develop their own political careers. The 45th president, Donald Trump, has five children and most of them helped him in some way during his term in the oval office.

The current president, Joe Biden, had four children: three with his first wife, Neilia, and one with Jill, his current spouse. The younger son, Hunter, has worked with and separately from his dad on different ventures. The two seem to be very close and can be seen attending events together.

National Correspondent at and Kelli Ballard is an author, editor, and publisher. Her writing interests span many genres including a former crime/government reporter, fiction novelist, and playwright. Originally a Central California girl, Kelli now resides in the Seattle area.

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