Just in time for Father’s Day, historian Douglas Brinkley lists his picks for the best and worst first fathers, which you can see here (at the WashingtonPost.com).

The top 3:

  • Theodore Roosevelt Sr.
  • Prescott Bush
  • John Adams

The bottom 3:

  • Leslie Lynch King Sr. (Gerald Ford’s father)
  • Roger M. Clinton Sr.
  • Barack Obama Sr.

It’s worth reading Brinkley’s quick summaries of each pick (see here).

I’m a huge fan of TR and his dad (McCullough’s Mornings on Horseback is a wonderful history of their relationship), and we should celebrate the great fathers in this list.

But what’s most interesting for me is actually the bottom three.  No matter what you think of the sons’ politics and administrations, what they overcame early in their lives — including varied levels of paternal violence and absence — to reach the highest office in the world, is nothing short of remarkable.  Not to mention inspiring.

Happy Father’s Day everyone.