Alice Roosevelt was the eldest child of Theodore Roosevelt. She became extremely popular, both nationally and internationally, during his presidency.
In 1906 she married Nicholas Longworth, a U.S. Representative from Ohio. (He would later become Speaker of the House.) Their only child, Paulina, was born in 1925.
Paulina instantly became “the most famous baby in America,” and, as a result, there was a temporary increase in the national usage of the baby name Paulina:
- 1927: 47 baby girls named Paulina
- 1926: 48 baby girls named Paulina
- 1925: 78 baby girls named Paulina
- 1924: 40 baby girls named Paulina
- 1923: 38 baby girls named Paulina
According to the SSA data, usage nearly doubled. According to the SSDI data, though, the spike wasn’t quite so dramatic:
- 1927: 55 Paulinas born (SSDI)
- 1926: 63 Paulinas
- 1925: 85 Paulinas
- 1924: 63 Paulinas
- 1923: 59 Paulinas
Many years later it was revealed that Idaho senator William Borah was the baby’s biological father, and that Alice had even considered giving the baby the not-so-subtle name Deborah (“de Borah”).
Image: Longworth, Paulina, with Mother from LOC
P.S. The baby name Lance also got a boost thanks to the child of an American socialite…