Stephen M. Walt

Happy Birthday, Dad!

  “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”–Mark Twain Today is my father’s 83rd birthday, and what’s the point of having a ...

By , a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.
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NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 27: Parade participants grasp their balloons before the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade commences on November 27, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

 
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”
–Mark Twain

Today is my father’s 83rd birthday, and what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t use it to send your dad birthday greetings? My father is a distinguished and still-active geophysicist, a killer tennis player, accomplished sailor and avid military history buff. Also a nice guy. I got my interest in war, history, and foreign policy from him, even though he still thinks “political science” is an oxymoron. When I was growing up, he told me that the most important thing in life was to find something you loved doing. It was terrific advice, and I lucked out. So thanks Dad, and happy birthday! (I’ll call you later).

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Stephen M. Walt is a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

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