Happy Father’s Day! Let’s take a look at some dads who gave famous people a giant gift: their names. Here are the seniors behind a slew of well-known Juniors.
1. Martin Luther King, Sr. (above, with Rev. Gurdon Brewster in 1979) probably didn’t know his name would become so famous when he changed it. The civil rights icon’s father was born Michael King in 1899, but after he became a successful minister in the 1930s, he changed his name to Martin Luther King. When Dad changed his name to honor Martin Luther, so did his five-year-old son Michael King, Jr. Like his son, King, Sr. was a tireless civil rights advocate; he even led the Atlanta branch of the NAACP.
2. Harry Connick, Sr. has been known to tickle the ivories and belt out a tune or two in New Orleans’ nightclubs, but his main claim to fame is his legal prowess. From 1973 to 2003, Harry Connick, Sr. served as the District Attorney of Orleans Parish, a tenure that earned him enshrinement in the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame.
3. William F. Buckley, Sr. was a lawyer and prominent oil developer in Texas. Buckley was active in the oil business in Mexico during the early 20th century, and at one point in 1921 he even found himself expelled from the country as the result of his lobbying to ease restrictions on American ownership of oil wells.
4. Mel Kiper, Sr. never heard an NFL team call his name on draft day. Instead, the father of the NFL’s preeminent draft guru worked a vending machine route, sold real estate, and coached college and high school baseball until his death in 1988. A 1992 Sports Illustrated profile of his son noted that Mel Sr. played a key role in helping get Mel Kiper Enterprises off the ground by helping his son track down subscribers and advertisers for his early NFL draft newsletters.
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Photo: Rev. Gurdon Brewster
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