How did Brené Brown get her name?

Research professor and author Brené Brown
Brené Brown

Research professor and author Brené Brown — who became famous several years ago thanks to her popular TED talk on the power of vulnerability [vid] — was born Casandra Brené Brown to parents Charles and Casandra Brown of San Antonio, Texas, in 1965.

Last year, she was asked about her unique (middle) name during an interview with Texas Monthly. Here’s what she said:

Growing up, every time we drove from San Antonio to Houston, going to Stuckey’s — all these places where you buy monogrammed shirts and glasses — I was so put out because there was never a “Brené.” So I think I made up in my head that it was French. And then I hitchhiked across Europe after high school and I got to France and I was like, “Je suis Brené!” And they were like, “What kind of name is that?” They’d never heard of it. My parents just made it up. I had a whole narrative in high school — “When I bust out of this suburban Spring, Texas, high school I’m going to go back to France where my people are!” But, no, it’s not French — it’s south side San Antonio.

And here’s a condensed version of the story, from her website:

Thought my name was French until I hitchhiked through Europe after high school and no one in France understood my name. They called me Pamela (from the show Dallas). Sigh.


Image: Adapted from Brené Brown Wikipedia by BBeargTeam under CC BY-SA 4.0.

[Latest update: Mar. 2024]

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