Were Babies Named After Sputnik?

SputnikA tweet from Mashable just reminded me that the Space Race began 55 years ago today with the launch of Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik.

Did you know that, not long after the launch, Sputnik became a baby name here in the U.S.?

So far I’ve found four people named Sputnik (which means “fellow traveler” in Russian):

  • Sputnik Eisenhower Watkins, born on October 31, 1957, in Ramsey, Minnesota.
  • Gary Sputnik Clack, born on January 17, 1958, in Orange, Texas.
  • Polly Sputnik Johnson, born in 1959 in Wilson, North Carolina.
  • Isaac Sputnik Ornelas, born in 1991 in Riverside, California.

“Sputnik Eisenhower” is definitely the most memorable of the bunch. According to an article in Jet, Sputnik Eisenhower Watkins had three older siblings with the non-satellite names Pauline, Merium and Sam.

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