The TV star and former NFL great Michael Strahan spends Father’s Day with Parade. The father of four—9-year-old twins Sophia and Isabella, his daughters with ex-wife Jean Muggli; and 19-year-old Michael Jr. and 22-year-old Tanita, his children from his first marriage to Wanda Hutchins—wakes up millions with his trademark grin as cohost of Live With Kelly and Michael and special cohost of Good Morning America. Strahan tells the magazine how his father shaped his life, and how he hopes to influence his kids. He also weighs in on Michael Sam’s joining the NFL.
On his relationship with his dad, Gene, an army officer: “Amazing. My father is the most influential person in my career in [terms of] attitude—the understanding that nobody gives you anything in life, you have to earn it. … His whole thing was, ‘I don’t want to hear about the problem, I want to see the solution.’ There’s always a solution.”
On how he’s incorporated that philosophy into his own life: “I love solving problems. It makes me happy to juggle all the jobs I do. … The great thing coming from sports is you understand the concept of a team. It leaves no room for being selfish, and that’s something I picked up from home.”
On what he enjoys most about being a dad: “I love being the person my kids depend on to learn. Everything they learn for the most part comes from you—how they treat people, how they look at the world, how they process things. I love being that example for them, just like my parents were for me.”
On his support for Michael Sam, the first openly gay player to be drafted by the NFL: “I texted him congratulations. I feel bad for him in the sense that he has a lot of pressure and people looking for him to represent something. Right now, he just needs to represent himself and his family and be the best player he can be. Plain and simple. He’s a football player first and foremost.”
For more from Michael Strahan, see Sunday’s Parade. For the full story, plus an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, go to Parade.com