Even though novels and movies depict stepfathers as dysfunctional, if not downright evil and abusive, in reality, countless stepfathers have gone the extra mile and become exceptional in their role as a father figure, as in the stepfathers of the ten famous people listed below.
10. At age one, Jeff Gordon attended a local car race with his mother, Carol, on her first date with a co-worker, John Bickmore. By age four, Gordon’s new stepfather, Bickmore, convinced Gordon to drive a midget race car, on Gordon’s way to becoming a championship Nascar race car driver. Of his stepfather, Gordon, has said, “John is the only dad and the only manager I’ve ever known.”
9. Golden Globe Award winning actress, Kate Hudson, daughter of Bill Hudson and Goldie Hawn, once told Vanity Fair magazine, “My father doesn’t know me from a hole in the wall. Kurt (Russell) is a savior who came into my life. He’s been there for everything.”
8. Emmy and Grammy award winner, Justin Timberlake said of his stepfather, Paul Harless, “At the age of five, I did see a man come into my life, my stepfather, and show me the value of stepping in and really being a man and falling in love with a woman, and bearing the responsibility of being a father figure to her son…”
7. Famous humorist, Erma Bombeck, dedicated one of her columns to her stepfather, Albert “Tom” Harris, paying tribute to him for the love and admiration that emerged through their years spent together.
6. Former Beatle drummer, Ringo Starr’s mother and father separated when Starr was three years old. Starr’s mother remarried a man named Harry Graves, who was very close to Starr. Starr often jokingly referred to Graves as his “step ladder.”
5. Former First Lady, Nancy Davis Reagan , adopted her stepfather’s name, Davis, as her surname and stated that she admired him so much that she, eventually, considered him to be her true father.
4. While former President Gerald Ford Jr. was born Leslie Lynch King Jr., he took upon himself the name of his stepfather, Gerald Ford, when he was twenty-two years old, and referred to his stepfather as a magnificent person.
3. Bigger-than-life basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal, credits his stepfather, Phil Harrison, with his success in basketball. ”He (Harrison),” said O’Neal, “is my dad. He’s the one who raised me and made me what I am today.”
2. Perhaps Charlton Heston should be second on this list, right before the number one stepfather, because of Heston’s role in the Ten Commandments. Heston, named John Charles Carter at birth, changed his name to his mother’s maiden name (Charlton) and his stepfather’s surname, Heston.
1. To many people, interestingly enough, Joseph, who was espoused to Mary, the mother of Jesus, tops the list of exceptional stepfathers.
From dysfunctional to exceptional, it is the stepfather who chooses the impact he wants to make.