Influential Conservative Fathers Write Kids 'Letters from Dad'

"The most important job that I have isn’t U.S. senator. It’s father," wrote Marco Rubio in an open letter to his daughters Amanda and Daniella. His words are part of TIME magazine's annual and touching compilation of "Letters from Dad," which features open letters of love and encouragement from famous men to their children. The project is published online in collaboration with Lean In, an organization “committed to offering women the ongoing inspiration and support” they need “to help them achieve their goals.”

“Letters from Dad” is a beautiful exploration of the uniquely special role of fathers, as well as a celebration of the father-daughter relationship. So here, in honor of Father’s Day, are some of the words of encouragement and advice from five famous conservative fathers who have contributed to the project.  

Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Governor, to Selia

“God has blessed you with such a tremendous heart, and gifted mind. I don’t know what God has in store for your life, but I know it will be good, because He is good. And I know it will take strength, courage, and compassion to get through it, because that’s how He builds our Faith.”

Shaquille O’Neal, Owner of Sacramento Kings, to Amirah, Me’arah and Taahirah

“Be resilient. You will be knocked down … But it is there, at the point you feel your lowest, that you will find who you are. Be kind … You all have the beauty of kindness. I have seen it. Sometimes, the kindest actions are the quietest. Be the friend that you want to have … Be loyal, be compassionate, and, most of all, be patient. Be courageous … This is going into battle for the right reason, for the right cause, even without backup. Stand up for those who lack a voice. Embrace love, life and family. All of these previous points are about character. This last point is the purpose of all of this … Enjoy this beautiful life. And love your family with all of your heart. That is how I love you.”

Marco Rubio, Florida Senator, to Amanda and Daniella

“The most important job that I have isn’t U.S. senator. It’s father … the most important thing fathers can do is encourage their daughters to dream and to reach for the stars …They can go as far as their talent and their work will take them. And God willing, I’ll be there with them each step of the way.”

Jerry Jones, Owner of Dallas Cowboys, to Charlotte

“One of the defining moments that highlighted my pride in you … was the day I watched you walk into the office of Dick Ebersol, the President of NBC Sports, and lay out your vision for how to turn a Thanksgiving Day football broadcast into an annual event that would enhance the lives of millions of people … Since the inaugural show in 1997, the halftime performances you conceived and produced have helped raise more than $1.6 billion for the Salvation Army, and you’ve continued to dedicate yourself to changing the lives of others through your role as the first chairwoman of the Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board in the Army’s 130-year history … A great joy in my life has been the opportunity to grow and be influenced from the experience of working closely with you.” 

Rick Santorum, Former Pennsylvania Senator, to Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella 

“The biggest piece of fatherly advice that I can give you is that you should stay true to your faith and values. Search for truth and have the courage to stand for it. If you try to live your life consistent with those values and those truths, things have a way of working out in the end. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to go through tough times, to fail or to experience loss. That’s life. But if you can hold on to the values that you know are true, then in the end, everything else will be ok.”