12. William Jackson Smart, 1842-1919
Smart was a Civil War veteran whose wife died during the birth of the couple's sixth child, leaving him to raise the children on his own in Spokane, Wash. In 1910, one of those children, Sonora Smart Dodd, would push for a new holiday celebrating her dad and others like him. Father's Day was set for the third Sunday in June, and the rest is history.