The surname-name Janssen first appeared on the baby name charts in 1964:
- 1968: unlisted
- 1967: 5 baby boys named Janssen
- 1966: unlisted
- 1965: 8 baby boys named Janssen
- 1964: 16 baby boys named Janssen [debut]
- 1963: unlisted
- 1962: unlisted
It wasn’t a particularly impressive debut, but 16 baby boys was enough to make Janssen one of the top debut names of the year.
What was the influence here?
Actor David Janssen, who played Dr. Richard Kimble in the memorable TV drama The Fugitive from 1963 to 1967. Dr. Kimble, falsely convicted of murdering his wife Helen, escaped from authorities on the way to death row and spent the rest of the series both evading recapture and searching for the real killer, the mysterious “one-armed man.”
Notably, 72% of the television sets in America tuned in to see the show’s final episode, in which Dr. Kimble finally finds the justice he’s been seeking.
(The name Kimble also saw slightly higher usage while the show was on the air.)
Do you like the name Janssen?