Through interactions with their parents, children develop the basic foundations for skills that play a direct role in their adulthood economic well-being. What are the consequences of disruptions to family structure and parental absence on a child's long-run success? This paper provides estimates of the causal effects of parental absence on a child's adulthood economic well-being by leveraging an individual-level, historical dataset and a natural experiment that yields plausibly exogenous variation in parental death. Specifically, I use digitized records of nearly all mining accidents in the U.S. during the early 20th century, and compare the adulthood outcomes of children of fatal mining accident victims to children whose parents suffered serious, yet non-fatal accidents. Adults who lost their parents during early childhood experienced a roughly 15 percent loss of income in 1940. Most of the estimated earnings penalty can be attributed to differences in employment. Specifically, bereaved sons are more likely to be out of work, report unemployment assistance, and work fewer weeks.