Retired Soccer Player, Model and Fashion Icon
Children: Brooklyn, 14, Cruz, 10, Romeo 8, Harper, 1
When a KissCam recently caught the newly retired soccer star at an NHL game smooching his baby daughter on the cheek, it was precisely the umpteenth time he had been spotted at a sports event with a kid in tow. You have to love a dad who shares his passions with his progeny (it also carries over to his tat obsession: All four of their names are inked on him) -- and who has his priorities straight. He once skipped a practice to be with a sick son, even though it meant a hefty fine. “Being a dad is more important than football, more important than anything,” he said.
Children: Oscar 13, Ava, 7
Perhaps it stems from his tough path to parenthood -- a couple of miscarriages by his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, then adoption -- but no one seems to relish dad-dom more than Hugh. The countless photos of the one-time People magazine sexiest man alive in playful snowball fights, walking his scooter-bound daughter to school and tossing a football with his son can’t all be staged. “The things that I really cherish are the everyday moments,” the Australian-born actor told Parade, “like sitting around cooking pancakes together on a Sunday morning.” (All together now: awww.) Hugh and Deborra-Lee made a conscious choice to adopt mixed-race children: “It was like, where’s the [biggest] need?”
Rapper, Music Mogul, Sports Agent
Child: Blue Ivy, 1
Leave it to the legendary rapper to express his joy for his baby daughter in verse. Two days after Blue Ivy’s 2012 birth, he released "Glory," which features her infant cries (making her the youngest person to ever chart on Billboard) and lyrics that would make even the thuggiest rapper’s heart melt: The most amazing feeling I feel / Words can’t describe what I’m feeling for real /Maybe I paint the sky blue / My greatest creation was you. Papa then promptly took a paternity leave from the studio. “I just really wanna hang out with her,” he said. We wouldn’t expect any less from Mrs. Carter’s life partner.
Children: Levi, 4, Vida, 3, Livingston, infant
Fatherhood becomes Matthew. Just ask him. The dad of three has credited it with making him more introspective (“Children are like mirrors,” he said), more perceptive (“You see the wonder in something we see every day”) and even a better actor (“It is more fun, because kids remind you to play make believe”). It also inspired him to launch a foundation, j. k. livin (as in “just keep livin,” his personal motto), dedicated to helping teens lead healthier lives and build self-esteem through afterschool programs in California, Texas and Louisiana. “In starting a family, you really start thinking about community.
President of the United States
Malia, 14, Sasha, 12
If anybody had a legitimate excuse to shirk his fatherhood duties, it would be the Leader of the Free World. But there’s our President, attending parent-teacher conferences at his daughters’ schools, taking a break from ridding the world of terrorism to have dinner with his family most nights and, of course, doing that thing that all dads do: thoroughly embarrassing his oldest daughter by talking publicly about her dating. “I grew up without my father around,” he told ABC News. “That’s why I’ve tried so hard to be a good dad for my own children.” Not to mention that he always lets us know he’s Michelle’s fan-in-chief.
Children: Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, Zahara, 8, Shiloh, 7, Vivienne, 4, Knox, 4
Seven reasons we wish Brad were our dad: 1. He takes his kids paintballing. 2. And ziplining. 3. He dressed as DJ Lance Rock from Yo Gabba Gabba! for Halloween. 4. He starred in World War Z to make a movie his boys would enjoy. 5. He sets a good example -- he’s been a leader in Katrina rebuilding, as well as efforts to combat AIDS, poverty and other humanitarian issues. 6. He said this: “One of the greatest, smartest things I ever did was give my kids Angie as their mom.” 7. And this: “Having kids is really the most extraordinary thing I’ve ever taken on.”
Rock Musician, Front Man for Wilco
Spencer, 17, Sam 13
You know him as the front man for alt-rock group Wilco, but he moonlights as guitarist for the Raccoonists, a house band of sorts that also features son Spencer on drums and son Sam on vocals (think: Yoko Ono). The Tweedy boys dabble in poetry and photography as well, at dad’s urging. “My wife and I have tried to provide an atmosphere where it’s easy to make stuff, where there’s crayons and cameras,” he said. “Our philosophy is: If you can go to bed at night having made something in this world that wasn’t there when you woke up, that’s good for anybody.”
Basketball Player for the Miami Heat
Children: Zaire, 11, Zion, 6
Maybe we’re just suckers for that too-cute-to-be-faked Dove commercial of the nine-time NBA all-star using his two giggling sons as workout props. (Shoulder-press launch into the pool, anyone?) But consider, too, that Dwyane is a rarity in pro sports: a single father. He was awarded sole custody post-messy-divorce after creating a schedule showing that, despite an 82-game season, he could spend more time with his kids than many 9-to-5 dads do. Even after two championship rings and an Olympic Gold Medal, D-Wade, who entitled his 2012 autobiography A Father First, calls his sons “the two greatest gifts” of his life.
Child: Jackson, 13
“When you become a father when you’re gay, you really have to know you want to do it,” the Tony Award–winning actor (M. Butterfly) and co-star of Law and Order: SVU once said. The process can be arduous, and in B.D.’s case, painful. In 2000, he and his partner at the time (the two have since split) had twins through a surrogate, but the boys were born three months early. One died within minutes, and the other remained in NICU for months. So if B.D, an active supporter of March of Dimes preemie programs, spoils his teenage son a bit -- he sleeps in a replica of a New York City subway car -- we can forgive him.
Child: Alice Bee, 2
This Maryland-based photographer has a hilariously twisted response to all those cutesy shots that parents post on Facebook. His cartoonish ongoing photo series, “World’s Best Father,” depicts him putting his now-2-year-old daughter in all kinds of wholly inappropriate situations: giving her a bath in the washing machine, carving a pumpkin with her inside it, making her iron his shirts, speeding to work with her strapped to the roof and so on. No need to call child welfare services: It’s all heavily Photoshopped. As David explains, the images are every new dad’s neuroses come to life, “a parody of the father I hope I never become.”
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