We already know how Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, came up with her stage name — “Marilyn” was from Marilyn Miller, and “Monroe” was her mother’s maiden name.
But why was she named “Norma Jeane” as a baby?
In 1922, her mother Gladys, originally from California, moved to Kentucky to try to get her first two children (Robert and Berniece) back from her former husband’s family.
While there, Gladys worked as a housekeeper in the home of Harry and Lena Cohen of Louisville. She also helped care for the couple’s young daughters, Dorothy and Norma Jean.
She eventually returned to California, alone.
In 1926, Gladys had her third and final baby. “She named the child after the little girl she had looked after whilst in Kentucky and, for the sake of respectability, also gave the surname of her former husband, hence naming her Norma Jeane Mortenson (she added an ‘e’ to Norma Jean and changed Mortensen to Mortenson on the birth certificate).”
Which first name do you like more, Marilyn or Norma? Vote below, then leave a comment with your reason…
Source: Morgan, Michelle. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. London: Little, Brown Book Group, 2012.
Businessman Lido Anthony “Lee” Iacocca was born in Pennsylvania in 1924 to Italian immigrants Nicola “Nick” Iacocca and Antonietta Perrotta. Lee Iacocca went on to become the president of Ford Motor Company from 1970 to 1978 and the CEO of Chrysler Corporation from 1978 to 1992.
Where did the first name Lido come from?
Before his marriage, Nick and one of Antoinette’s brothers had visited Venice, Italy, enjoying the grand and beautiful Lido Beach. To Nick, the spot was perfect. So was his new son, hence the name Lido.
And what drove Lido Iacocca to shorten his already-short first name to “Lee”?
Early on in his career…
“As part of my job, I had to make a lot of long-distance calls. In those days, there was no direct dialing, so that you always had to go through operators. They’d ask for my name, and I’d say “Iacocca.” Of course, they had no idea how to spell it, so that was always a struggle to get that right. Then they’d ask for my first name and when I said “Lido,” they’d break out laughing. Finally I said to myself: “Who needs it?” and I started calling myself Lee.”
Which name do you prefer, Lido or Lee?
Collins, David R. Lee Iacocca: Chrysler’s Good Fortune. Ada, OK: Garrett Educational Corp, 1992.
Iacocca, Lee and William Novak. “Iacocca: An Autobiography” Reader’s Digest Jul. 1985: 79.
Capt. George Fried (1877-1949) was responsible for not one but two heroic Atlantic rescues during his career at sea.
(He was also one of the few people honored with two NYC ticker-tape parades, in honor of the two rescues.)
The first rescue was of 25 of the 27 men aboard the sinking British freighter Antinoe in January of 1926. (The other two men drowned during the rescue.) Fried was the commander of the SS President Roosevelt at the time.
The second rescue was of all 32 men aboard the sinking Italian freighter Florida in January of 1929. Fried was now commanding the S.S. America.
During the second rescue, a baby boy was born aboard the America, with the help of Dr. E. Daken and Nurse McDermott (pictured).
The baby was named George Fried Chojnowski after the captain.
Boxing’s first million-dollar gate was the match between American boxer Jack Dempsey and French boxer Georges Carpentier that took place in New Jersey on July 2, 1921.
That morning, a baby boy was born in Pittsburgh to Mr. and Mrs. John Mahoney. “[A]s the father was an enthusiastic rooter for the Irish fighter, it was decided to hold off naming the baby till after the result of the Jersey City fight should be known.”
Dempsey won in the 4th round. So the baby was named John Dempsey Mahoney.
Mr. Mahoney’s brother, a Carpentier supporter, stopped by later that night. The men fought over the baby’s name and ended up at the police station, charged with disorderly conduct.
The magistrate ordered the uncle to buy John Dempsey Mahoney his first pair of shoes.