Research effects of father absence



BACK         -        HOME        -        NEXT

This child was born in 15th century Europe to unmarried parents. His mother was a slave brought in from a Middle-Eastern country, who later married another man. His father was a well-to-do local businessman. Between their children from other relationships, the boy ultimately had 17 half-brothers and sisters.

Considered to be a bastard, child himself never had a legitimate last name, so during his lifetime was known by the name of the village of his birth. He spent his first few years with his mother in a thatch and mud home, but then was taken by his father to live with his paternal grandparents at the family's country estate. (His father lived elsewhere with his wife.)

The child spent much time wandering unsupervised in the rural setting, observing nature around him. He liked to study birds, especially their wings, and watch horses, and how they moved. He collected lizards, frogs and beetles, and spent hours observing and drawing them.

He was tutored for a period of time by a local priest who taught him Latin, geometry, reading, writing and abacus. The child grasped these subjects with amazing speed, but showed little interest in sticking with any of them, preferring to flit from subject to subject, rarely finishing things he started. He also read books on his own in the library of the estate, and continued to draw.

When his absentee father ultimately learned of this, he ordered the child be sent away at age fourteen to be apprenticed to a painter in a nearby city. It was there, however, that the child's talents first became recognized.

He began to get patrons interested in his own paintings, and they helped equip him with supplies and financing. Over time, his fame grew, and he gained more and more powerful supporters. Even as he did, however, and through his lifetime, he continued his self-studies of the world around him, writing and drawing his thoughts and observations, still flitting from subject to subject, and with so much interesting him, always having difficulty sticking to one thing.

He conceived of the helicopter, the armored tank, solar power systems, the calculator, and other inventions hundreds of years before these things would became reality. He never married -- and is now known to have been gay -- and also was a vegetarian, who would purchase caged birds for the sole purpose of releasing them.

Ultimately, he became the most famous Renaissance man in the history of the Western world, revered as a genius not only for his painting and sculpture, but also for his architectural designs, music, scientific and mathematical discoveries, inventions, anatomical research, and writings.

Leonardo da Vinci, a boy from a "fatherless home."

This fatherless child story was written by Elizabeth G.

BACK         -        HOME        -        NEXT


* 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.



Except as otherwise noted, all contents in this collection are
copyright 2007-2012 the liz library. All rights reserved.

This site is hosted and maintained by
Send queries to: