Quotes About Fathers

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A father is his son’s first hero, and his daughter’s first love. These father quotes celebrate everything great about dads.

These words may seem cliche or like they were written just for a greeting card, but it turns out that for most of us, they are actually very true.

Dads play a crucial and unique role in the family and are a source of inspiration for many.

Most of us go through life with the sure knowledge that there’s no-one else we need quite like our Dad.Whatever our stage of life or current circumstances, he is there to give us unwavering support and love.

From learning to ride a bike to choosing a college, buying a home and starting a family of our own, fathers always seem to know the right things to say.

Reed Markham quote "The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family"
“The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams, and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.” – Reed Markham

The History of Father’s Day

The first Father’s Day on record occurred on July 5, 1908 at the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fairmont, West Virginia.

Although not strictly speaking a day, a “Father’s Day” service was held thanks to the efforts of a woman named Grace Golden Clayton. Mrs. Clayton had asked her pastor, Dr. R. Thomas Webb, if a Sunday service could be held to honor fathers.

Though Mrs. Clayton’s own father had died in 1896, she wanted the opportunity to have a service in remembrance of more than 200 fathers who had died in the Monongah mining explosion, a disaster which had occurred a few miles south of Fairmont on December 6, 1907.

The worst mining incident in U.S. history, more than 360 men and boys were killed, and more than 1,000 children in the area were left without a father.

Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it would take a couple more years for the idea of celebrating dads to take root.

Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, is the one credited for starting the chain of events that led to Father’s Day becoming a national holiday in America.

Anonymous father quote "A father is nether an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way"
“A father is nether an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” – Unknown

Listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909, Mrs. Dodd felt it was only right and fair that fathers should be honored in the same way.

Her own father, William Smart, had raised his six children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child.

It was in his name that Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day.” She chose the 5th of June for the celebration, because it was her father William’s birthday.

The idea received strong support, though the ministers of Spokane did ask for the day to be changed in order to give them extra time to prepare sermons on fathers.

The first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June). It became an annual event there, and other towns quickly followed their example by introducing celebrations of their own.

Despite widespread popular support, Father’s Day did not become a national holiday for many years.

Though the first bill was introduced to Congress in 1913 – and backed by President Woodrow Wilson – it didn’t pass.

In 1966, Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation that designated the third Sunday in June as an annual day to honor fathers. It became law under President Richard Nixon in 1972 and has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.

In honor of Father’s Day – and Dads everywhere – we’ve put together a list of the very finest quotes about fathers. Keep reading to find the perfect way to say “thank you” in your Father’s Day card this year.

Anonymous father quote "A father is someone you look up to, no matter how tall you grow"
“A father is someone you look up to, no matter how tall you grow.” – Unknown

Quotes about Fathers and Sons

The relationship between a father and his son is absolutely unique.

For young boys, there is no idol quite like Dad! From dressing like Dad to standing like him and adopting his mannerisms, the connection between sons and their fathers is an incredibly close one.

As we grow, our perceptions of both of our parents – and especially our Dad – can shift and change.

While you may come to see that your dad isn’t quite the unstoppable hero you once thought he was, he’s played a crucial part in shaping the man you have become.

At home and in the workplace, your Dad is a valuable role model, and, the example he set for fatherhood is the one that you will take forward in your own life as you become a Dad.

A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.

Frank A. Clark

My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.

Clarence Budington Kelland
Charles Kettering quote “Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice”
“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.” – Charles Kettering

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons.

Johann Friedrich Von Schiller

For thousands of years, father and son have stretched wistful hands across the canyon of time.

Alan Valentine

My father taught me a good lesson: Don’t get too low when things go wrong. And don’t get too high when things are good.

Robert Parish

My father taught me not to overthink things, that nothing will ever be perfect, so just keep moving and do your best.

Scott Eastwood
Alexander Pope quote "We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow. Our wiser sons, no doubt will think us so"
“We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow. Our wiser sons, no doubt will think us so.” – Alexander Pope

It is not flesh and blood, but heart which makes us fathers and sons.

Friedrich von Schiller

With sons and fathers, there’s an inexplicable connection and imprint that your father leaves on you.

Brad Pitt

Every son quotes his father, in words and in deeds.

Terri Guillemets

My father used to say that ‘it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’

Michael Jordan

Every son’s first superhero is his father, and it was the same for me. For me, he was Superman and Batman combined.

Tiger Shroff
Linda Poindexter quote “When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back”
“When my father didn’t have my hand, he had my back.” – Linda Poindexter

Quotes about Dads and Daughters

Dads also play crucial roles in shaping the lives of their daughters.

Little girls know that there is no one who can protect and love them quite like Daddy.

And, as they grow, research has shown that positive father-daughter relationships mean that women are more assertive, self-reliant, and successful in both their academic and work lives.

They also forge healthier, more fulfilling and longer-lasting relationships.

Her father is a girl’s first love, and he never stops being an important part of her life. He’ll always be a source of guidance and support, and his opinions and concerns will always matter to her.

Father's Day quote “A little girl giggles when she is denied an ice-cream by her mother. She knows daddy will get her some later”
“A little girl giggles when she is denied an ice-cream by her mother. She knows daddy will get her some later.” – Unknown

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.”

Gloria Naylor

No one in this world can love a girl more than her father.

Michael Ratnadeepak

To be the father of growing daughters is to understand something of what Yeats evokes with his imperishable phrase ‘terrible beauty.’ Nothing can make one so happily exhilarated or so frightened: it’s a solid lesson in the limitations of self to realize that your heart is running around inside someone else’s body. It also makes me quite astonishingly calm at the thought of death: I know whom I would die to protect and I also understand that nobody but a lugubrious serf can possibly wish for a father who never goes away.

Christopher Hitchens

You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You’re her oracle. You’re her hero. And then the day comes when she gets her first permanent wave and goes to her first real party, and from that day on, you’re in a constant state of panic.

Stanley T. Banks
John Sino quote “It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping”
“It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing, but there is a special place in heaven for the father who takes his daughter shopping.” – John Sinor

When I come home, my daughter will run to the door and give me a big hug, and everything that’s happened that day just melts away.

Hugh Jackman

There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.

John Gregory Brown

I am not ashamed to say that no man I ever met was my father’s equal, and I never loved any other man as much.

Hedy Lamarr

A daughter may outgrow your lap but she’ll never outgrow your heart.

Unknown
Elaine Dalton quote "The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother"
“The greatest thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother.” – Elaine S. Dalton

Quotes for Dads

If the history of Father’s Day makes one thing clear, it’s that the third Sunday in June is intended for celebrating all fathers, not just our own.

We know that not everyone has a positive and loving relationship with their Dad. But, Father’s Day can also be a time to recognize those male role models who have played an important role in supporting and encouraging you to reach your goals.

Stepping in to fill the role of a father – whether as an adoptive Dad, a step-parent, or a mentor – is a long and hard commitment that thousands of people gladly make every day.

Whatever your family looks like, it’s nice to show your appreciation on Father’s Day.

Umberto Eco quote “I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom”
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.” – Umberto Eco

Every dad, if he takes time out of his busy life to reflect upon his fatherhood, can learn ways to become an even better dad.

Jack Baker

The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.

Reed Markham

Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it.

Mike Myers
Provost Abbe quote “The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature”
“The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature.” – Prevost Abbe

He was a father. That’s what a father does. Eases the burdens of those he loves. Saves the ones he loves from painful last images that might endure for a lifetime.

George Saunders

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.

Richard Bach

A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.

Ziad K. Abdelnour
George Strait quote "Daddies don't just love their children every now and then. It's a love without end"
“Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end.” – George Strait

Remembering Dad

Losing a father is a source of indescribable grief. A protector, a hero, a friend, a source of inspiration: Dads fills all of these roles, and many more.

For those who have lost their Dad, Father’s Day can be a particularly painful and upsetting holiday. However, it is also a nice opportunity to remember all of the fond memories you have with your Dad.

However long he was in your life, his influence and memory will continue to shape you long after he has gone.

Harlan Coben quote “This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too”
“This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments – and you get the tears at the end, too.” – Harlan Coben

A father’s love is forever imprinted on his child’s heart.

Jennifer Williamson

That man is a success – who has lived well, laughed often and loved much, who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children, who has filled his niche and accomplished his task. who leaves the world better than he found it, who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it, who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

Unknown

The loss of my father will always sting. But now, everything that I do is in honor of him and celebrates his life.

Adrienne C. Moore
Jennifer Williamson quote “No matter how old we are, we still need our dads, and wonder how we’ll get by without them”
“No matter how old we are, we still need our dads, and wonder how we’ll get by without them.” – Jennifer Williamson

You have been there for me, no matter what bad choices I might have made… you lovingly repaired my broken spirit, helped me plot a new course, and set me free to fly on my own once again. There is no greater love than that. You will always be special to me, and no matter where life takes me, I’ll remember you with love.

Marilyn K. Deacon

Dad, wherever you are, you are gone but you will never be forgotten.

Conrad Hall

The loss of my father was the most traumatic event in my life – I can’t forget the pain.

Frank Lowy

Deeply, I know this, that love triumphs over death. My father continues to be loved, and therefore he remains by my side.

Jennifer Williamson

You will always be in my heart… because in there you’re still alive.

Jamie Cirello
Winnie the Pooh quote “If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever”
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart. I’ll stay there forever.” – Winnie the Pooh

We hope we’ve inspired you to find a meaningful way to say a big “thank you” to your Dad – whether on Father’s Day or any other day of the year. Have we missed your favorite quote about Dad? Share it with us in the comments!

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Natalie Seale

Natalie Seale is a writer, researcher, and editor for keepinspiring.me. She holds an MA, MSc, and PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh, and has started two businesses since 2011. Natalie is an avid reader, a keen traveller, and enjoys cooking and walking with her English Spaniel. Her posts focus on inspiring others to live healthy, happy, and active lives.