I think Atticus Finch is a man of principals and innate kindness. He knows it is his job to make the world a better place and to defend those that cannot defend themselves. Unlike many characters who are also parents, however, Atticus chooses to lead by example and to practice what he preaches.
These are two of my favorite quotes:
"There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep 'em all away from you. That's never possible."
"'First of all,' he said, 'if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.'"