There are 6,793,188,178 people in the world or at least there were at 1515 GMT on October 27, 2009. Have you ever wondered how some people differentiate themselves from the other 6 billion or so with a dinky, little name? If I do an internet search for a Bob or Robert Rockwell I find hundreds of these guys scattered across the country. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the one “Bob” on earth? But that’s not going to happen so let’s look at some one-named and somewhat weird-named famous folks:
One name - Given name people
This is by far the coolest and most elite category but you have to be blessed with an unusual name to start with. Notice there is no Tom, Dick or Harry on this list.
- Elvis was born Elvis Aaron Presley
- Dino was born Dino Paul Crocetti aka Dean Martin
- Liza was born Liza May Minnelli
- Madonna was born Madonna Louise Ciccone
- Mao was born 毛澤東 aka Mao Zedong
- Michelangelo was born Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
- Oprah was born Oprah Gail Winfrey
- Prince was born Prince Rogers Nelson aka The artist formerly known as Prince
- Rembrandt was born Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
- Selena was born Selena Quintanilla-Pérez
One Name – Surname people
Do you think Liberace would have made it as Wladziu? And, thank God Pablo shortened his name; it wouldn’t have fit on his paintings.
- Chaplin was born Charles Spencer Chaplin
- Liberace was born Wladziu Valentino Liberace
- Picasso was born Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso
- Stalin was born Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин aka Joseph Stalin
- Tito was born Josip Broz Tito
- Tojo was born東條 英機 aka Hideki Tojo
One Name – Made-up name people
Now here’s a category for all of us. It’s not too late to dream up the name you’ve always wanted. How about Zoog or Munf? Can you imagine what the wedding invitations would have looked like if Charo would have married Picasso?
- Cantinflas was born Fortino Mario Alfonso Moreno Reyes
- Charo was born María Rosario Pilar Martínez Molina Moquiere de les Esperades Santa Ana Romanguera y de la Najosa Rasten
- Enya was born Eithne Patricia Ní Bhraonáin
- Groucho was born Julius Henry Marx
- Houdini was born Erik Weisz
- Nero was born Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus
- Pelé was born Edison Arantes do Nascimento
- Yanni was born Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης aka Yiannis Hrysomallis
- A-Rod was born Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez
- Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian
- Evita was born María Eva Duarte
- Flo-Jo was born Florence Griffith and married Al Joyner to become Florence Griffith-Joyner
- Ike was born Dwight David Eisenhower
- J.Lo was born Jennifer Lynn Lopez
One Name - Only recognized as a part of a group people
Maybe you have to be a singing group to have this distinction but, how about Currier and Ives? I know … they’re last names.
- Jan and Dean were born William Jan Berry and Dean Ormsby Torrence
- Peter, Paul and Mary were born Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Allin Travers
- Sonny & Cher were born Salvatore Phillip Bono & Cherilyn Sarkisian
People you wouldn’t recognize without their middle names
How about Frank Wright or Martin King? Sounds like a couple of truck drivers.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber was born as named
- Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Marshall
- Frank Lloyd Wright was born Frank Lincoln Wright
- Johann Sebastian Bach was born as named
- John Quincy Adams was born as named
- Martin Luther King Jr. was born as named
No first name but lots of initials people
I’ve never understood these folks but hey, would you buy a toy from Fred Schwarz? And, I’m not sure I’d read a “real man’s” book by a Billy Butterworth.
- F.A.O. Schwarz was born Frederick August Otto Schwarz
- W.E.B. Du Bois was born William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
- W.E.B. Griffin was born William Edmund Butterworth III
No first name people
This is like telling your mother to stick it in her ear … you came up with a better name than she did. So there! Okay, if my first name was Lafayette I’d probably just want to be L.
- F. Lee Bailey was born Francis Lee Bailey Jr.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald was born Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
- G. Gordon Liddy was born George Gordon Battle Liddy
- L. Ron Hubbard was born Lafayette Ronald Hubbard
Nickname for a first name people
These are the folks that never wanted to grow up so they hung on to their childhood nicknames well after puberty.
- Jimmy Carter was born James Earl Carter, Jr.
- Billy Graham was born William Franklin Graham, Jr.
- Bobby Vinton was born Stanley Robert Vinton, Jr.
- Jimi Hendrix was born James Marshall Hendrix
- Jimmy Buffett was born James William Buffett
- Bob Rockwell was born Robert Dale Rockwell Jr.
Initial for a last name people
G will probably sell more records than Gorelick - what do you think?
- Dr. J was born Julius Winfield Erving II
- Kenny G was born Kenneth Bruce Gorelick
People that changed their names completely
Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber (Mitzi Gaynor) is staring in her silver screen debut with vetran actor, Issur Danielovitch (Kirk Douglas). Aren’t you glad they changed their names.
- Albert Brooks was born Albert Lawrence Einstein
- Bobby Darin was born Walden Robert Cassotto
- Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach
- Connie Francis was born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero
- Conway Twitty was born Harold Lloyd Jenkins
- Don Ho, was born 何大來
- Donna Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines
- Elton John was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight
- George Burns was born Nathan Birnbaum
- Hedy Lamarr was born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler
- Jack Benny was born Benjamin Kubelsky
- Jack Palance was born Volodymyr Palahnyuk
- John Wayne was born Marion Mitchell Morrison
- Kirk Douglas was born И́сер Даниело́вич aka Issur Danielovitch
- Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle
- Mitzi Gaynor was born Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber
- Natalie Wood was born Natalia Zacharenko
- Pancho Villa was born José Doroteo Arango Arámbula
- Peter Lawford was born Peter Sydney Vaughn Aylen
- Peter Lorre was born László Löwenstein
- Ralph Lauren was born Ralph Rueben Lifshitz
- Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Cansino
- Roy Rogers was born Leonard Franklin Slye
- Susan Hayward was born Edythe Marrenner
- The Big Bopper was born Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr