Where did the baby name Medgar come from in 1963?

Civil rights activist Medgar Evers (1925-1963)
Medgar Evers

Medgar Evers was an African-American civil rights activist from Mississippi.

On the morning of June 12, 1963, Medgar was assassinated by a white supremacist in front of his own home. He was just 37. Left behind were his wife and three young children (Darrell, Reena and James).

Not coincidentally, the baby name Medgar appeared in the U.S. baby name data for the very first time in 1963. It was the top boy-name debut that year, in fact.

  • 1965: 8 baby boys named Medgar
  • 1964: 13 baby boys named Medgar
  • 1963: 25 baby boys named Medgar [debut]
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: unlisted

The name remained on the list for two more years, then disappeared again. (Variant spelling Medger appeared on the list from 1963 to 1964.)

Evers was named for his great-grandfather Medgar Wright. “The derivation of the name Medgar is unknown, though it was possibly a variation of Edgar.”

Source: Morris, Willie. The Ghosts of Medgar Evers: A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and Hollywood. New York: Random House, 1998.

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