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Famous Dads on Fatherhood

  • Courtesy of Hank Baskett

    Hank Baskett

    Former NFL player, husband of Kendra Wilkinson.  Father of Hank, Jr., 2.

    First words that pop into your head when you hear “dad”?

    Role model. A child should never have to look outside his own home to find one.

    Favorite memory with your son:

    I was the first person to look Hank in the eyes the day he was born.

    What did you learn about being a father from your own dad?

    Being a dad doesn't just mean being strong, masculine, and tough. It's also about knowing how to love.

    Kendra, what makes Hank such a great father?

    There's no other man that I would want my son to be like. That means respecting women, saying “please” and “thank you,” and of course being a damn great athlete!

  • Amelia Lyon

    Christian Jacobs

    Co-creator of Yo Gabba Gabba! on Nickelodeon, and creator of The Aquabats! Super Show! on the Hub.  Father of Penelope, 12, Oskar, 10, Bruce, 6, and Russell, 2.

    Your parenting philosophy:

    Love your children by teaching them to be accountable for their actions.

    Favorite family TV shows:

    Of course we love Yo Gabba Gabba! and Aquabats! We also really love old-school family stuff: The Muppet Show, Little Rascals, The Cosby Show, and Little House on the Prairie. That one's a real tearjerker!

    What did you learn about being a father from your own dad?

    He showed me that as a parent, it's time to forget about yourself and do what's best for your children. No success in life could compensate for being a failure as a parent.

  • Courtesy of Scott Wolf

    Scott Wolf

    Voice of Ray on Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, the new animated series on the Hub.  Father of Jackson, 3. 

    Favorite memory with your son:

    His first time in the ocean. Jackson couldn't stop laughing and dancing around in the water. He breathes wonder into the simplest things. It's one of the many things he has taught me.

    Job that would best prepare you for fatherhood:

    Circus juggler or hostage negotiator.

    Fill in the blank:

    “The key to being a good dad is... paying attention .”

  • Courtesy of Paul Bettner

    Paul Bettner

    Creator, Words With Friends, 20 million users.  Father of Eloise, 3, and Arthur, 1.

    Tweet from @paulbettner:

    “‘I want some popcorn. And some juice. At the same time. And I want it right here.’ —Eloise”

  • Harold Hinson Photography

    Jimmie Johnson

    NASCAR driver and Four-time Driver of the Year. Father of Genevieve, 22 months.

    Recent tweet from @jimmiejohnson:

    “I just got home from Evie's swim lesson. It's always interesting being the only dad. I'm sure a few husbands will get an earful tonight.”

    Favorite everyday moment with your daughter:

    She's so happy to see us when we come into her room in the morning. She also likes being my little helper with making breakfast.


  • Nancy Neil

    Mark Mcgrath

    Lead singer of Sugar Ray; former host of Extra!; former contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice.  Father of Hartley and Lydon, 2.

    First word that pops into your head when you hear “dad”?


    Best part of fatherhood:

    When I come home from a concert or tour, and they run at me full speed with saucer-shaped eyes and a guttural scream of happiness.

    Toughest part of the gig:

    That look in your children's eyes when they're being immunized. They seem to be saying “Hey! You're supposed to be protecting me from this!”

    Job that would best prepare you for fatherhood:

    My participation in The Celebrity Apprentice. After working with Gary Busey, my twins are a breeze!

  • Brooke Boling

    Mike Wolfe

    Star, American Pickers on the History channel.  Father of Charlie, 5 months.

    Job that would best prep you for fatherhood:


    Favorite family activity:

    Watching Charlie interact with my beautiful fiancée, Jodi. I love to watch them lose themselves in each other.

    Toughest part of the gig:

    The lack of sleep. But really, when you're living your dreams, who needs sleep?

  • Rob Rosato/Getty Images

    Drew Brees

    Quarterback of the New Orleans Saints; six-time Pro Bowler; Vicks VapoDad.  Father of Baylen, 3 and Bowen, 1.

    Recent tweet from @drewbrees:

    “Found out the sex of the baby by [my wife] Brittany baking cupcakes today. Bit into the center, all blue. Boy #3 is on the way!”

    Favorite everyday moment with your sons:

    There are so many little moments I cherish that it's hard to pick a favorite. I'd probably have to say reading them a book right before they fall asleep.

    Fill in the blank:

    “The key to being a good father is... Put your family first and let your actions speak louder than your words.”

  • Jaqueline Patton

    Donovan Patton

    Joe on Blue's Clues, voice of Bot on Team Umizoomi, both on Nickelodeon.  Father of Sasha, 18 months.

    First word that pops into your head when you hear “dad”?


    Favorite family pastime:

    Almost every day, we dance together. She'll dance to everything from Sam Cooke to Motörhead. When I dance with her in my arms, we'll spin around, and she giggles like crazy. I'll never get enough of that.

    Job that would best prepare you for fatherhood:

    Personal assistant to the most adorable, vulnerable, impatient person you can think of. But you also have to change their diaper.

    Fill in the blank:

    “The key to being a good dad is… Patience and love. And paying for stuff.”

  • Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Bryan Clay

    2012 U.S. Olympic decathlon hopeful, 2008 Olympic gold medalist.  Father of Jacob, 6, Katherine, 4, and Elizabeth, 2.

    Recent tweet from @bryanclay:

    “While taking my four-year-old daughter to the bathroom she says, ‘Daddy, how come when boys tinkle they don't have to wipe?’ Uh… ask Mommy.”

    Ask Katherine: “What's the best thing about your dad?”

    “He takes us to Disneyland and helps us clean our rooms.”

  • Courtesy of Arnie Duncan

    Arnie Duncan

    U.S. Secretary of Education.  Father of Claire, 10, and Ryan, 8.

    Favorite family activity:

    We try to read to our kids every single night. We just finished the Harry Potter series and The Wind in the Willows. Having that quiet time every night to read is something I really cherish, and I try to keep that time sacred as much as I can.

    How do you manage the work-family balance?

    Finding the right balance is something we struggle with every day. I don't think you ever really figure it out. But if you're always thinking about it and trying to make improvements, that's what's important.

  • Charisse Photography

    Mark Teixeira

    First baseman, New York Yankees.  Father of Jack, 6, Addison, 4, and William, 18 months.

    What did you learn about being a father from your own dad?

    Be a good leader and teach your kids right from wrong. It's OK to be strict because kids need those boundaries, as long as they know you love them.

    With your intense travel schedule, how do you make the most of your time at home?

    I turn off my phone and take the kids places individually and as a group. Pizza and ice cream is always a big hit.

    The perfect Father's Day:

    Coffee and doughnuts with the kids in the morning, a lazy afternoon playing in the yard, and then going out for pizza and ice cream at night.

  • Christopher Horner/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    Ike Taylor

    Defensive back, Pittsburgh Steelers and Two-time Super Bowl champion.  Father of Ivan, 5.

    Phrase you say to your son the most:

    We like to roughhouse a lot, so I hear myself saying, “You want a piece of me, buddy?”

    Favorite everyday moment with your child:

    When he tiptoes into my room around 5:30 a.m., pulls the covers off my head, and tells me it's time to get out of bed and play.

    Toughest part of the gig:

    I'm trying to teach him how to be a graceful loser. I want to help him understand that it's OK to lose, but I also know that he needs to figure things out in his own way.

    Ask Ivan: “What's the best thing about your dad?”

    “My dad's cool cars!”

  • Cassandra Barry

    Joel Stein

    Author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity; contributing editor, Time.  Father of Laszlo, 3.

    Do you think there is a bias against dads?

    The bar is so low to be a good dad. When Laszlo was 2 months old, I brought him to meet my friend at a bar. I couldn't talk to my friend because women kept coming over to talk to the awesome dad. If I had been a mom, those same women would have called child services.

    Favorite pop from pop culture:

    I loved Mr. Brady. He was calm and just—Solomon with a laugh track.

  • Gretchen Easton

    Scout Masterson & Bill Horn

    Founders, Hold My Hand, an adoption mentoring service ( and “The Guncles” on Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood.  Fathers of Simone, 2.

    Best part of fatherhood:

    When we hear “dad,” it's like music to our ears. We weren't sure if we would ever hear that word.

  • John Russo

    Dean McDermott

    Actor; star of Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood on Oxygen.  Father of Liam, 5, Stella, 3, and Hattie, 7 months.

    Tori Spelling on Dean's dad skills:

    “Dean's the rock and the disciplinarian,” she says. “He helped me to set rules and guidelines.”

    Recent tweet from @deanracer:

    A response to a follower requesting potty-training tips: “One M&M for number one and two M&M's for number two. Works like a charm.”

    Secret talent:

    “I knit, but so does Dean,” says Tori. “When I was pregnant with Liam, I was knitting a baby blanket, and when we went to get yarn, Dean said, ‘I'd like to try that.’ He's been knitting ever since. Sometimes we'll be in bed, knitting together, and I'll think, look at us!”

  • KerryAnn Clisham Fotography

    Ryan Fernandez

    President of Boon, Inc. (  Father of Mercedez, 11, Hunter, 9, Boston, 8, and Willow, 4.

    First words that pop into your head when you hear “dad”?

    Why? What? Where? When?

    Favorite family pastime:

    We have so much fun watching America's Funniest Home Videos. I love seeing them all laughing and carrying on like only four girls can.

    Job that would best prepare you for fatherhood:

    Psychologist. Being a dad is about being able to read your children and knowing how to reach them. It's important to deal with each child individually.

    What did you learn about being a father from your own dad?

    Sacrificing personal time. My dad was always there for coaching, attending special events, etc. I've always been thankful for the amount of time he gave us. I try to do the same.