I really like the name Roger. It’s not too common, but not too rare. According to the Social Security list it ranked No. 416 in 2004 among male names. Previously, it ranked 2003-394, 2002-389, 2001-371, 2000-373, 1999-358, 1998-347, 1997-329, 1996-285, 1995-278, 1994-264, 1993-253, 1992-214, 1991-231, and 1990-209. (Incidentally, Rodger, which is how my own grandfather -Pop -incorrectly spelled my name, doesn’t make the Top 1000 in any of the last 15 years.)
I like the fact that my father spent time making sure that my initials, ROG, matched the first three letters in my first name, a story told to me by his cousin Ruth only a few years ago. I’m told that he was madly scribbling on paper at her house shortly after I was born, looking for the right combination. It is NOT a family name.
I have a particular interest in the accomplishments of people named Roger in the public eye.
I thought it was great that the first person to break the 4-minute mile was Roger Bannister.
I was pleased to find out that the Byrds’ Jim McGuinn changed his name to a more interesting Roger. IMHO, naturally, all you Jims out there.
I was disappointed that Roger B. Taney was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the dreadful Dred Scott decision.
About 20 neighbors testified against Albany slumlord named Roger Ploof last year at a city hearing, including me. I wanted to say, “I’m embarrased to be a Roger,” but I didn’t. The city ruled against him, and he was supposed to have modified his building from 26 units to 6, but at this writing, he has not done so.
FWIW, Roger does not appear in the Bible.
Here are some other persons/things named Roger of note:
Roger Bacon – 13th Century philosopher and mathematician
Roger Cedeno – former Mets, current St. Louis Cardinal outfielder
Roger Clemens – seven-time Cy Young winning pitcher now in an All-Star year with the Houston Astros
Roger Clinton-brother of the 42nd President
Roger Craig-former major league pitcher (1955-1966), mostly with the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers
Roger Craig-former running back (1983-1993), primarily for the San Francisco 49ers
Roger Daltrey-lead singer of the Who
Roger Dodger-2002 movie starring Campbell Scott
Roger Ebert-influential film critic, paired with Richard Roeper and previously with the late Gene Siskel
Roger Federer,-won three of the four Grand Slam tennis events in 2004, and won Wimbledon for the third time in a row in July 2005
Roger Fox-father in the FoxTrot comic strip
Roger Grimsby-WABC-TV (NYC) newsman, 1968-1986, d. 1995
Jolly Roger-the pirate skull and crossbones
Roger McDowell-major league pitcher (1985-1996), mostly with the Mets and Dodgers
Roger and Me– 1989 movie in which Michael Moore pursues GM chairman Roger Smith
Roger Maris-major league outfielder with the KC A’s, NYY, St. Louis Cards. Hit 61 HRs in ’61.
Roger Moore-The Saint and Beau Maverick on TV, James Bond in the movies
Roger Mudd-long-time CBS & NBC newsman, descendant of the doctor who treated John Wilkes Booth
Roger Over and Out-inexact CB talk
Roger Rabbit-framed husband of Jessica “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way” Rabbit
Roger Ramjet-cartoon adventurer “fighting for our freedom”
Roger Smith-played Jeff Spencer on “77 Sunset Strip”; husband of Ann-Margaret
Roger Stern-comic book writer
Roger Whitaker-singer who appeared in a lot of commercials in my youth
Roger Williams-founder of Rhode Island
There are about 3000 more, according to the IMDB. If you want to suggest some more, please feel free.
You will see a brand-new list of Roger-related web pages in the links section of ze blog. For the most part, they are NOT the same as the ones listed above. These links will almost always be a page authorized by the Roger in question, or his descendents, or perhaps his fan club. Again, offer up some more and I MAY use ’em.
“Old Roger draft-dodger leavin’ by the basement door,
Everybody knows what he’s tippy-toeing down there for.”
–Punky’s Dilemma by Paul Simon