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5 Famous Fathers

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published August 19th 2013
Who's the Ultimate Daddy?
5 Famous Fathers

George Washington, founding fathers
George Washington

Some fathers are playful, some fathers are strict, some fathers love footy, and others like cricket. Some fathers are boring, some fathers are fun, but look after him carefully because you only have one.

Or do we? We may only have one dad, but there are plenty of fathers out there. The term father refers to more than just being the parent that brought us up; there are many universal fathers in the world, and while none can beat top place of our number one dad, they are far more famous.

Our Father

god, michaelangelo
'Creation of the Sun and Moon' by Michelangelo, c. 1512

We might as well start off with the big daddy himself. Whatever your beliefs, everyone knows about God. While other faiths are creative enough to give their gods names, the Christian lack of imagination to even think of a simple name like Larry, has kind of worked in their favour. If anyone says 'God', it is not Zeus, Osiris, Guan Yin, Baal, or Vishnu that they think about, but the christian Father. We can't even be sure God is a 'he', but we call him Father all the same. God's existence cannot be verified, yet he is the most famous father out there because faith and hope is such a vital part to humanity's mental well-being.

God is an omnipotent being, the creator of all things, and since Christians believe that he 'gave birth' to us all, the term 'father' is quite an apt description.

God has gone through quite a lot of personality changes (which you have to expect from an immortal being). In the Old Testament he was a pretty grumpy old man without much tolerance for disobedient children. He kicked two of his kids out for snacking, drowned an entire community for trying to get close to him, and killed a whole lot of innocent women and children because he wanted a prosperous family man to know what it was like to suffer. Then in the New Testament, Jesus came along and told everyone that God was actually quite a nice guy - that he was a loving, caring god. Unfortunately, putting a good name to his father did little to gain him favour with the big man, who let him die on the cross for al his kind words.

Father Time


Although not quite as powerful as God, Father Time is another immortal being who controls our linear existence. He is usually depicted as an old bearded man carrying a scythe and hour-glass, and can be confused with the personification of Death. Unlike Death, however, he does not lie in wait for us to die and be carried on to the netherworld; instead, he looks to new beginnings, and every cycle passes on his duties to Baby New Year.

The Greeks and Romans knew him as Chronus, but the first mention of his name being Father time was in 1590.

Father Christmas

father christmas, santa claus
Father Christmas

Probably the most universally loved Father, he might have been derived from Christian traditions, but over time he has come to lose much of his religious significance.

The archetypal Father Christmas is that of a big fat man in a red suit, who lives in the North Pole, and travels around the world on Christmas Eve to give presents to every boy and girl. This is a very commercialised depiction, however, and his origins are quite different.

Saint Nicholas was a Greek fourth century bishop who was known as a miracle maker and for his acts of charity. Saint Nick is not the original Father Christmas, but because of his secret gift-giving (such as putting coins in people's shoes), people adopted the historic figure as a model for the fictional character.

In the fifteenth century Father Christmas did not distribute presents to children, but was part of an adult celebration, in which he arrived to announce the birth of Christ. It was not until the seventeenth century that he took on the guise of a merry old man.

Most people think that the red suit that Father Christmas wears comes from an advertising campaign by the Coca Cola company; it is certainly true that they made his outfit 'canon' as it were, but it was actually an American illustrator called Thomas Nast that first drew him in this manor.

Father Ted

father ted
Cast of 'Father Ted'

Okay, Father Ted is probably not as widely known as the others when it comes to a worldwide familiarity, but he is pretty famous in the UK and Ireland.

Father Ted is the main character of an Irish sitcom of the same name. It first aired between 1995-1998 and has also be seen in Australia and the US.

The show is about three priests who have been exiled by Bishop Brennan to the fictional Craggy Island. They were all sent away for various reasons, Father Ted's being that he allegedly stole charitable donations for a children's pilgrimage so that he could take a trip to Las Vegas. He is vane, greedy, and has wild dreams about setting up his own parish in America; but despite all this you can't help but sympathise with him.

George Washington

George Washington, founding fathers
George Washington

George Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United Stated. He was a political leader during the American Revolution, who helped draft the Constitution and bring about Independence. The Declaration of Independence was signed on the 4th July 1776, but Washington's influence did not end there. In 1789 he was as the first President of the United States and given the title 'Father of the Nation'.
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This is a great article Bryony - most informative and a clever angle on Dad's Day.
by Lucy (score: 3|1145) 1668 days ago
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