Cool Dad Job: Writer
Cool Dad Vibe: Genius in Exile
Cool Dad Bona Fides: Coates dropped out of college to become a journalist and became one of the most prominent journalists in America. Sure, Coates hit the jackpot with his first editor, the legendary David Carr, at the Washington City Paper, but his success was far from assured. He bounced around different publications for years until finding his place at The Atlantic, where his features became must-read cultural blockbusters at a time when the idea of a must-read magazine article was losing credence. Then Coates published Between the World and Me, a haunting work that upends traditional scholarship on race relations, providing no clear-cut solution and emphasizing the inevitability of inequality and conflict. Coates is not a comforting figure for most, but he is for his son Samori Maceo-Paul, whom he is raising in Brooklyn while working on Black Panther comics and continuing to keep his head on straight despite growing celebrity (he won a MacArthur Genius Grant) and renown.