Tim McGraw Shares Why He Wasn’t Angry At His Dad For Leaving Him

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Tim McGraw’s childhood wasn’t an easy one. But, he doesn’t harbor any resentment toward his father for leaving, and his reason is one that set him on his own path to success.

Tim McGraw was 11-years-old when he found his birth certificate and learned that his dad was major league relief pitcher Tug McGraw.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize I didn’t grow up with Tug,” McGraw told TODAY in 2019. “I didn’t know Tug was my dad. I found my birth certificate when I was 11 years old. And, like I said, we didn’t have a whole lot, and I was in my mom’s closet, I was digging through something and found my birth certificate. It said McGraw. My name was Smith as a kid because my stepdad’s name was Horace Smith.”

Tim found out that his dad left the family to pursue his own dreams, but instead of being angry, he used the news information to spur on his own dreams.

“People ask me, ‘How could you have a relationship with your father? You were growing up in nothing. He was a millionaire baseball player. He knew you were there, and he didn’t do anything,'” Tim recently toldEsquire. “But when I found out Tug McGraw was my dad, it gave me something in my little town in Louisiana, something that I would have never reached for. How could I ever be angry?”

“It changed what I thought I could do with my life coming from the circumstances I came from,” he told TODAY . “I felt like when I found that out, you know, he’s a professional baseball player who’s successful, to me, it made me think that blood is in my veins, so that ability is in there. So I found sort of that grit inside me that he must have had in order to succeed at what he did. And it changed what I thought I could make out of my life.”

Tim, who shares three daughters with wife Faith Hill, credits his dad for his “grit,” but credits his mom for teaching him to persevere.

“She always provided for us and she always made me feel like we could outdream our needs and that was something she always instilled in us,” he said. “Our mom is our hero. She’s the one that taught us to persevere.”