21st Century Dads: A Father's Journey to Break the Cycle of Father Absence

David A. Hirsch with John St. Augustine

For David Hirsch, the Dads Honor Ride was a daunting 2,300+ mile, 21-day journey to honor dads and raise awareness for the importance of fathers and father figures. With an estimated 24 million kids growing up without their dad in the home, the ripple effect is a higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration and crime, depression, and suicide. The cycle of father absence is devastating the lives of countless youth, crushing families, and crippling communities.

With passion, discipline, and courage David takes us along on the Dads Honor Ride journey from Santa Monica to Chicago. He shares personal reflections about overcoming fear, his struggles to find his identity, forgive his own absent father, and break his family's cycle of father absence. More actuary than athlete, David pushed himself past his own limits, crossing paths with sages, saints, and veterans, as well as dads of different backgrounds. Along the way, he discovered that the journey of fatherhood is filled with potholes, flat tires, wrong turns, and closed roads that all contain valuable lessons. Hoping to shed light on the dark statistics that are the children of absent fathers, David has become a formidable voice for 21st Century Dads.

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About the Author

David A. Hirsch with John St. Augustine

David A. Hirsch is the father of five young adults, works full-time as a wealth advisor at UBS, and is the founder of 21st Century Dads Foundation whose mission is: Improving the lives of children by raising awareness and resources for greater father involvement, and inspiring dads to be present; physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. He also is founder of the 19-year-old Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, the country's first state wide non-profit fatherhood organization. All proceeds from this book benefit the 21st Century Dads Foundation.

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"David Hirsch is a mover and leader in the 'Fathering' movement. His personal commitment to his own family distinguishes him as an overcomer father, but in addition he is raising the importance of responsible fathering in the conciseness of America. As a colleague and friend I applaud his efforts through the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, the 21st Century Dads project, and the Dads Honor Ride."

—Ken Canfield PhD, Founder, National Center for Fathering

"David Hirsch lives his life and passion on a daily basis. Through this book, he examines the role fathers have in our society and why their absence continues in the 21st century. He shares his passion to change this trajectory and thus change the world! Kudos to David for tackling head on a tough issue . . . and for living his life out loud!"

—Lisa M. Dietlin, President & CEO, The Institute of Transformational Philanthropy (ITP)

"A moving, deeply engaging story that will inspire you to hug your kids, tell them you love them, and dive in harder than ever to the greatest job a man can ever have—fatherhood."

—Jonathan Eig, New York Times best-selling author of Luckiest Man

"Having cycled across the country more than 85 times, including Route 66 dozens of times, I know first hand the challenges David encountered. Riding 100+ miles a day for three weeks takes a level of commitment and perseverance few possess. I admire his Dads Honor Ride accomplishment and more importantly, the commitment he brings to bridging the gap for those growing up without dads."

—Lon Haldeman, Ultramarathon Cyclist, 8-time transcontinental record holder & PAC Tour co-owner