For some, Michael Strahan is the fun and goofy co-host on Good Morning America or the smart analyst on Fox NFL Sundays. For others, like me, he was No. 92, the defensive end you were screaming for in Super Bowl XLII who had one sack and retired following the underdog victory.
But for a select few—four to be exact—he’s the loving and overbearingly supportive father.
Strahan is father to four children, Tanita and Michael Jr., whom he shares with his first wife Wanda Hutchins, and his twins Isabella and Sophia, whom he shares with his second wife Jean Muggli.
For the most part, Strahan keeps his family life fairly private, but he’s been open to talking about them more and more.
Tanita is 31 and is his oldest child. Michael compares her to himself, saying she has a “silent strong personality”.
“She’s not going to be one to walk into a room and make it all about her,” he told New York Family. “She definitely has an opinion and she’s very smart and she knows what she wants, which I love about her.”
Tanita is an illustrator now, who earned a degree in design and visual communication from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA, according to People.
Michael’s second oldest child is his son, Michael Jr., who’s 28 years old. When Micahel Jr. was young, his parents divorced and his mother decided to move to Germany with both him and Tanita. Michael Sr. told People how he did his best to juggle seeing his kids who lived in another country, while being a professional athlete.
“I think a lot of times when you split, people assume that the mother is supposed to take responsibility for the kids. But from day one, it was very important for me to be active, to be a part of their life,” he explained. “I was constantly on planes and phones. And it’s very hard — of course it’s hard with them being in Germany. But one thing I learned is, you make time for what you want to make time for.”
Nearly a decade after his divorce from Hutchins, he welcomed his twin daughters, Isabella and Sophia, with his then-wife, Jean Muggli.
Growing up fast, now 19 years old, Strahan talked to Yahoo Life last December as the girls were embarking on their journeys into adulthood.
“I cannot wait for them to go to [college],” he said, “but it’s actually a bittersweet thing. The bitter part is, of course, I’m gonna miss my kids when they’re gone. But the sweet part is that they get a chance to grow and become adults. That’s what I don’t want to hold them back from. I’ve seen so many parents and friends of mine with a mindset of, ‘My kid is going to school and I’m gonna get a place right next door and basically be their roommate’. I’m like, that’s not how life works. Kids need their own identity, their own space to grow, so that’s what I’m giving my girls.”
Isabella is currently signed to Women 360, a modeling agency in NYC. While Sophia decided to go to school at Duke University.
Michael does everything he can to make his blended family work out, involving sacrifices and compromises so that the entire family can get together at least once a year.
“One of the two holidays — whether it’s Christmas or Thanksgiving — we make sure we spend one of them all together,” he told Yahoo, noting that last year was a Christmas year for the family.
Despite having the 6’5”, 250lb stature of a retired NFL defensive end, holding numerous records in the league, he is in fact, the pushover parent.
“The hardest part is trying to be strict and say ‘no,’” he told Yahoo regarding being a parent to twin daughters, “and be really tough on something, when inside I’m just, like, dying to give in.”
It’s hard not to love this guy having only known him as a player and TV personality. But knowing he’s as loving of a father as he is, that’s just the cherry on top.