Criminal Dads in Literature

Okay, how about I talk about something unconventional for a change? We tend to forget that criminals also have families to take care of and children to raise. They also tend to forget those as well, when they chose a life of crime.

Here, I’ve got a list of famous fictional criminals who happen to have children of their own. Their characters range from honorable to absolutely outlandish, so best be prepared. Here they are below.

  1. Vito Corleone (The Godfather by Mario Puzo)
Vito Corleone

Vito Corleone
Image source: Wikipedia

Played by Marlon Brando in the movie adaptation, Don Vito has to be everyone’s favorite mob boss. His famous line, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” is iconic as it is gripping. But as you can see, he also had his own family to take care of: the hot-headed Sonny, the sensitive Fredo, the indifferent Michael, and the free-spirited Connie.

Choosing the mob life, Vito has put himself and his family on the line. Michael later honors his legacy as the new head of the Corleone family, following Vito’s perilous lifestyle.

  1. Jean Valjean (Les Misérables by Victor Hugo)
Jean Valjean Image source: Wikipedia

Jean Valjean
Image source: Wikipedia

Although not a really hardened criminal (stealing bread for your starving sister is hardly a heinous crime), Jean-Valjean is a father to Cosette, born of the grissete Fantine. Even as Javert pursues him (and manages to capture him), he remains a caring father to Cosette, in spite of the revolution that was happening.

  1. 3. Jack Torrance (The Shining by Stephen King)
Jack Torrance

Jack Torrance
Image source: Wikipedia

We might have to consider Jack Torrance criminally insane for the most part. First, we saw him as a writer struggling with alcoholism, the next, we saw him try to murder his whole family with an axe!

Of course, as with most of Stephen King’s novels, supernatural elements play a role in the conflict, but that doesn’t make Jack Torrance anything less of a criminal.

So for Fathers’ Day, you might want to tell them about these figures so that they’d know how not to be a dad—except maybe for Jean Valjean’s case.


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