FDNY Baby Named after Father Mychal Judge

Mychal JudgeFather Mychal Judge, fire chaplain of the New York Fire Department, was the first official casualty of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 68-year-old Roman Catholic priest was killed while assisting firefighters in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. He (and others) were killed by the debris that shot through the North Tower lobby when the South Tower collapsed, just before 10 am.

Three weeks after the attacks, New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen welcomed a grandson. Von Essen’s son (also a New York City firefighter) and daughter-in-law named their baby boy Mason Judge, as a tribute to Father Judge.

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Update: The baby name Mychal saw a slight increase in usage in 2001 and 2002, no doubt due to the news of Father Mychal:

  • 2003: 21 baby boys named Mychal
  • 2002: 58 baby boys named Mychal
  • 2001: 43 baby boys named Mychal
  • 2000: 14 baby boys named Mychal

Source: McPhee, Michele. “Fire Commish Has Bit of Joy.” New York Daily News 9 Oct. 2001.


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