Father's Day: TR Had Best Presidential Dad: Ford the Worst

Saturday, 16 Jun 2012 08:18 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Theodore Roosevelt's father was the best dad to any commander in chief, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley claims.

In a Father's Day special for The Washington Post, Brinkley says Teddy Roosevelt Sr. ensured greatness for his son — bringing him up with trips to the Amazon, private foreign language tutors, taxidermy instruction and a set of weights after an unpleasant physical altercation with a bully.

Prescott Bush, father of the first President George Bush and John Adams, whose son John Quincy Adams followed him into the presidency also rank highly.

At the other end of the scale ranks Leslie Lynch King Sr., Gerald Ford’s father. He fares badly for his heavy drinking, for leaving Ford’s mother just weeks after Gerald was born, and for refusing to pay child support. It was so bad that Gerald took his stepfather's surname and met his biological father only once.

Roger Clinton Sr. — Bill's stepfather — and Barack Obama Sr. are also rated badly by Brinkley, who notes that Ford, Clinton and the current president all learned from their childhood experiences and became exemplary fathers themselves.

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