Research effects of father absence



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This child grew up near Charleston, South Carolina, the youngest of eleven in a rollicking Irish-Catholic clan, which he later referred to as "a humorocracy".

His world changed at the age of 10, when his father and two of his brothers were killed in a plane crash. With all his other siblings out of the nest, the remainder of his childhood was spent alone with his mother. The pall cast by the tragedy marked both of them, but he said of those years, "It was a constant search for healing. My mother gave that gift to all of us. I am so blessed to have been the child at home with her." He would later say, in response to Amy Chua's Tiger Mother controversy,
"I have always believed that moms alone determine how our kids turn out."
As the star of his family, he could well have been speaking from experience.

In sixth grade, the geeky kid was forced to change schools -- and ran into a rough patch. "I was beaten up on a regular basis," he recollected. But the family humor that had sustained them all was his savior, and within a year he was voted Wittiest Student. Things thereafter began to look up for him. After studying philosophy for two years elsewhere, he transferred to Northwestern University, majoring in drama.

He got his professional start in Chicago apprenticing with the now-famous Second City comedy troupe, which went a long way towards making him the improv genius he is today. He recalls of that time, "I finally let go of the pretension of not wanting to be a fool."

There followed a stretch of poverty and unemployment, finally broken by gigs at VH1, the Dana Carvey Show and the cult TV series Strangers with Candy. However, it was his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central's news-parody series The Daily Show that catapulted him into the limelight. In 2005, he spun off his own series, and in 2006, was named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People." His 2007 book, I Am America (And So Can You!), was #1 on The New York Times Best Seller List. He and his wife have three children.

His advice:
"Not living in fear is a great gift, because certainly these days we do it so much. And do you know what I like about comedy? You can't laugh and be afraid at the same time-of anything. If you're laughing, I defy you to be afraid."

This beloved funnyman, mock-alarmist faux news pundit, celebrity talker extraordinaire, award-winning actor and writer, and American household name, is, of course,

Stephen A. Colbert, a boy from a "fatherless home."

This fatherless child story was written by Elizabeth G.

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* The term "fatherless" is used in this series as it is in current research and policy rhetoric by the U.S. federal government, DHHS and the National Fatherhood Initiative, most U.S. states in connection with child custody law and policy, and various family values and fatherhood interest policy and lobbying groups.

"...Just add Dad, the magic ingredient. It's hard to know where wishful thinking becomes deliberate deception. But this argument, advanced by the fathers' rights movement, is like saying that, since Mercedes Benz owners make more money than people who drive Hyundais, you will become wealthy if you buy a Mercedes..." Mike Peterson



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