Paul Harvey on Fathers

Some of you may remember Paul Harvey’s radio broadcasts with “the rest of the story.” I don’t know, are those still on any more? I found this some years back and love it: it’s one of my favorite pieces about fathers (though of course the theology here and there is off — but I am posting it for the sentiment about fathers).

A father is a thing that is forced to endure childbirth, without an anesthetic.

A father is a thing that growls when it feels good–and laughs loud when it’s scared half to death.

A father never feels entirely worthy of worship in his child’s eyes. He never is quite the hero his daughter thinks, never quite the man his son believes him to be. This worries him, sometimes, so he works too hard to try and smooth the rough places in the road for those of his own who will follow him.

A father is a thing that gets very angry when school grades aren’t as good as he thinks they should be. He scolds his son although he knows it’s the teacher’s fault.

Fathers grow old faster than other people.

And while mothers can cry where it shows, fathers stand there and beam outside–and die inside. Fathers have very stout hearts, so they have to be broken sometimes or no one would know what is inside. Fathers give daughters away to other men who aren’t nearly good enough so they can have grandchildren who are smarter than anybody’s. Fathers fight dragons almost daily. They hurry away from the breakfast table, off to the arena which is sometimes called an office or a workshop…where they tackle the dragon with three heads: Weariness, Work and Monotony.

Knights in shining armor.

Fathers make bets with insurance companies about who will live the longest. Though they know the odds, they keep right on betting. Even as the odds get higher and higher, they keep right on betting more and more.

And one day they lose.

But fathers enjoy an earthly immortality and the bet is paid off to the part of him he leaves behind.

I don’t know where fathers go when they die. But I have an idea that after a good rest, he won’t be happy unless there is work to do. He won’t just sit on a cloud and wait for the girl he’s loved and the children she bore. He’ll be busy there, too…oiling the gates, smoothing the way.

19 thoughts on “Paul Harvey on Fathers

  1. Pingback: Talk of Delmarva » Blog Archive » For, (and in memory of), all Dads

  2. Searched google for the Paul Harvey story of “What Fathers are made of”. Heard it some 30 years ago. Thank you so much for having it here. With your kind permission I’d like to add your home page to my favorites. It is so wonderful to find beautiful people like you who share their testimonies of our Saviors love. I really enjoy browsing the hymns, songs….
    Well just all of it. What a great place I stumbled into. I’d like to return often, especially when in need of a spiritual recharge.

    Thank you, and may our Loving Father shower on you His choicest blessings.


    • Thank you for this post. My Father passed away 2 days ago at the age of 85. I was going thru a box that had newspaper articles from the local paper of things that he kept that were important to him and it had things from when he was in the military so I know this was a box of things my father thought important to him. I found this article torn out of a paper with this Paul Harvey What a Father is made of but there was no date on the page it was on. On the back it had an article about Charles Manson. I know this had to be old. Just was wondering when Paul Harvey wrote this. Wondering at what point he thought this important enough to save. All of us daughters were born in the 60s so im wondering if thats when he wrote it. If anyone knows would much appreciate it. Going to read this at his funeral since it was something he felt about.

      Thank you Again

      • I’m so sorry for your loss, Claudette. I don’t know much about Harvey other than a few of his more famous broadcasts. I just looked over the Wikipedia article on him and saw that his own father was murdered when he was three, and he had one son.

  3. Pingback: Father’s Day « Stray Thoughts

  4. I would like to find a broadcast of “My Last Cesond To Live” it is about a young person involved in a car accident and explains the cumbling of the front part of the car, his body lunging forward, his body hitting the dash, and the breaking of glass ECT. THis is a gruesome story, but Very Effective. I would like to present it to my church if I could get a copy of it.

    Thank You

  5. Pingback: What is a Father? | Pinay Mom at Work

  6. Paul Harvey has been a part of my life for more than 50 years. On this Father’s Day, I am always reminded of his words. They have set the tone for my fatherhood and now for my boys who are fathers. As he said many times…..”Lead on Paul.”

    Dr. Dennis Becker

  7. I’d kept a couple of these paragraphs from years ago – when you still had to write out quotes! I’ve just put those two paragraphs online and discovered via your blog that there was quite a bit more. Thanks for having these available.

  8. Pingback: Paul Harvey on Fathers | sugarbaby56

  9. Pingback: Favorite Posts of 2016 | Stray Thoughts

  10. Paul Harvey wrote a story about a Oklahoma law man that was killed on Christmas Eve. A very touching story and at the end you find out it was his father. Would really love to hear it again, I am unable to locate it?

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