The 6 Worst Dads In New York History

This Father’s Day, CBSNewYork is taking a look at some of the worst fathers the Tri-State area has seen in recent years, from movie stars to murderers.

Web Extra: Extensive Father’s Day Coverage

Bernie Madoff

Bernard Madoff

Financier Bernard Madoff leaves Manhattan Federal court March 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Aside from committing an $18 billion Ponzi scheme, Madoff had his sons Mark and Andrew join the family business. At the time of Madoff’s arrest, Mark and Andrew owed their parents nearly $22 million and $10 million respectively. Two years to the day after his father’s arrest Mark was found dead in his New York apartment by apparent suicide. Andrew is still being investigated for tax fraud.

Michael Lohan

michaellohan The 6 Worst Dads In New York History

Michael Lohan (credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Like daughter Lindsay Lohan, her dad has popped up in and out of rehab, prison and courtrooms for drug and assault charges. When his now infamous daughter landed her first major role, Lohan was in a New York prison for insider trading. Lindsay and Michael do not speak and the starlet has said she spends most of her life trying to “get through the trauma” her father has caused her.

John Gotti

john gotti The 6 Worst Dads In New York History

(credit: AP Photo)

Rising to prominence as the head of one of New York’s biggest crime families, Gotti committed several crimes over his long reign as the Gambino family boss. In 1992, Gotti was convicted of five murders, racketeering, and extortion among other charges. Gotti passed the business on to his children and son John. A. Gotti was sentenced to six years in prison in 1999. He died in 2002.

Eddie Murphy

eddie murphy The 6 Worst Dads In New York History

(credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

After funny man Murphy divorced his wife and left his five children in Long Island, former Spice Girl Melanie Brown became pregnant with the comedian’s sixth child. An embarrassing public denial of the child’s paternity ensued with a DNA test finally proving Murphy as the father of Brown’s baby girl. Murphy still questions his paternity and has no relationship with his daughter with Brown.

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin (file / credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Alec Baldwin (credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin let his daughter Ireland (and the world) know what he thought of her after a nasty voice mail he left on her cell phone was released in 2007. In addition to name-calling and the inability to recall his daughter’s age,  Baldwin said “I’m a good father, and you’re a pig. I don’t give a [expletive].” Baldwin later apologized saying “obviously calling your child a pig or anything else is improper and inappropriate and I apologize to my daughter for that.”

Woody Allen

woody allen The 6 Worst Dads In New York History

(credit: Dan Steinberg/AP)

Legendary New York screenwriter Woody Allen married 3 times and made headlines with his latest love interest, Soon-Yi Previn, his adopted step-daughter with ex-girlfriend Mia Farrow. Allen and Previn began their relationship when she was 22 and he was 56. The public considered it a father-daughter relationship and Allen’s three other children refused to see him. Allen and Farrow’s biological son Ronan Seamus said, “he’s my father, married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression.”

  • online pimp games

    naturally like your website however you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to tell the truth then again I will surely come again again.

  • Kerri

    john gotti wasn’t a bad father. he may be a bad man in the eyes of the law. but he was a good parent and he was good to his community

  • Frank from Glendale

    If villainy counts, then Joel Steinberg should be high on the list. He sought to adopt a 6 year old, then brutalized her and killed her, while also terrorizing his live-in girlfriend, Hedda Nussbaum, about 25 years ago.

    But remember all those dads who DON’T pay child support, leaving their kids in poverty, and letting them struggle, and maybe survive, maybe not…these fathers are deserving of condemnation and calumny!

    • east end eddie

      Frank, I agree 100%. He came to my mind first.

  • c.r. miner

    You’re right, Adam, but remember, this is actually a list of Famous celebrities who have turned up in the news for lousy parenting. After all, famous celebrities are what CBS covers and what most readers want.

    Besides Steinberg, who is plainly in a whole different league, there is a small army of largely unknown fathers who have murdered and otherwise criminally abused their children. Maybe the Post would like to do that story, more photos on page 29.

  • niklu

    #7 – John Emil List
    (September 17, 1925 – March 21, 2008) was an American murderer. On November 9, 1971, he murdered his wife, mother, and three children in Westfield, New Jersey, and then disappeared. He had planned everything so meticulously that nearly a month passed before anyone noticed that anything was amiss. A fugitive from justice for nearly 18 years, he was finally apprehended on June 1, 1989 after the story of his murders was broadcast on America’s Most Wanted. List was found guilty and sentenced to five consecutive terms of life imprisonment, dying in prison custody in 2008 at age 82.

  • Veritas

    Thanks CBS, not like Fatherhood isn’t on the decline and attack already, you have to give it a push. How about a strory about real fathers, guys who take responsibility for the kids they bring into the world and don’t just make a baby, pull up their zipper and run

  • Craig

    Did I miss the “6 Worst Moms in New York History” article prior to the past Mother’s Day weekend?

  • Rich from Lake Como

    What a waste of space on a news website. Disgraceful. I can only assume the people behind this subject have achieved some sort of perfection in their lives….
    they, I expect, could cast the first stone….

    • Deafened

      Don’t be silly. This is just filler — inaccurate too, as several of these are Long Island, not NYC. No one has to be perfect to criticise idiots whose VERY public lives are horrifying examples of bad judgment and greed.

      Definitely Joel Steinberg should be on this list, but it addresses only recent examples.

  • Adam Kasanof

    Joel Steinberg, who beat and killed his 6 year old adopted daughter Lisa, and beat and seriously injured his girlfriend Hedda Nussbaum, should have been on this list:

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live