I have had the privilege of meeting a number of important people in my run at life. With several of them I have I have had personal dealings or connections. In 2015 I released a book titled 200 Celebrities Who Changed and How They Found Success. It was overshadowed by the popularity of my phrase origin books, but in its own way it was unique. If you haven’t seen it, and trivia interests you, you may want to get a copy of this book. Below is the Introduction: It’s available on Amazon.
There are numerous reasons why persons in the public eye change their names (or have it done for them). Many times it is simply because their birth names are too long, complex, ethnic, or would be difficult to pronounce or remember. Some have taken their mother’s maiden names, or the surname of a stepfather or first husband which was never dropped. But many others are much more complex. For instance, why did Rudolf Walter Wanderone, Jr. and James A. Moore, Jr. both take the names of fictional characters that they claimed were based on them and how did doing so change their lives forever?
At least 20 featured entertainers who took stage names were from Jewish immigrant families. Many were impoverished; some were abused; several were forced to work as young children to help pay family bills. Many were from broken homes, and some never knew their biological fathers, often being placed in foster care. One worked as a prostitute, one a bootlegger; another was a drug dealer. Several were jailed. One was expelled from school and many were dropouts. How did these broken individuals climb to the top of their professions? It took dogged determination and encouragement, and likely, a new name.
In this pictorial book of trivia, one unique feature is that I include popular actors, singers, dancers, authors, sports figures, magicians, entrepreneurs, broadcasters, models and others who longed to create a public persona which he or she felt was worthy of his or her audience, revealing the circumstances and reasons behind the changes and how they built the public perceptions which took them up the ladder of success. I have been very selective in order to provide a variety of intriguing personalities and stories of overcoming adversity.