Anne Rice’s birth name was Howard

American author Anne Rice
Anne Rice

Did you know that author Anne Rice was born with the name Howard Allen O’Brien?

The vampire novelist (and creator of Lestat!) was born in New Orleans in 1941 to Howard and Katherine O’Brien. She was the second of four daughters.

Her three sisters were given traditionally female names — Alice, Tamara, and Karen — but she was named Howard, after her father (who went by Mike most of the time, ironically). Her middle name, Allen, was her mother’s maiden name.

Apparently she went by both names together when she was very young. Anne said in a recent interview that she “was Howard Allen, it was a double name” [vid].

She disliked having a male name, though, so in the first grade she started calling herself “Anne.” Eventually her name was legally changed to Anne O’Brien.

P.S. Similarly, Ann Dunham (Barack Obama’s mother) was born with the name “Stanley.”

Source: Ramsland, Katherine. Anne Rice Reader. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.
Image: Anne Rice

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