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Michael Is a Popular Name and There Is a Michael in Most Families

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.


The name Michael held the top spot 44 times over the last 100 years. When it wasn't in the top position, it was in the top five rankings. That's because it is a very popular name, and there is a Michael in almost every family and in every profession.

Michael was at the top of the list of boys' names in the United States from 1954 to 2008 before it moved down one notch into second place. The name Michael was most popular in 1998, according to the Social Security Administration. Today, Michael is the #12 name for boys in America.

Perhaps your name is Michael, or you know someone who is named Michael. So, why is that name so popular? What is so special about that name?

About the Name "Michael"

Parents have often considered Michael to be the ideal name for their newborn son. The name is strong and positive that it has been a favorite over the years.

Michael is a biblical name pronounced "mye-kehl." It is derived from the Hebrew name Mikha’el which means “who is like God” or "a gift from God." Michael is the only archangel in the Bible. He appears as a protector in the Old Testament’s Book of Daniel.

Michael is historically the masculine form, but there is one well-known female actress named Michael Learned. Feminine variations include Michelle, Michaela, and Mila.

Statistics of the Name Michael

The name Michael used in the United States dates back to 1880. Over 4,415,948 boys have been given the name in the past 200 years.

Michael was the most popular as a male baby's name in 1949. It went up by 112.98 percent from previous years. During 1949, about 60,046 babies were named Michael. That was 1.7694 percent of the baby boys born in the United States that year.

The highest the name grew in popularity was 2.484 percent when more than 93,000 boys were named Michael.

Even though Michael is a strong name for boys, modern parents are shying away from that name for their baby boys. They related that because of the past popularity of the name, Michael is a name that might be shared by many others in school and in other areas of their sons' lives. They are right, according to the list below of the number of Michaels shown in professional areas.

Politicians Named Michael

Surprisingly, there has not been a president named Michael. However, there are many politicians named Michael. Here are a few.

  • Michael Bloomberg is an American businessman and former mayor of New York City. He was born on February 14, 1942.
  • Michael Cohen, born August 25, 1966, is an American lawyer who served as an attorney for Donald Trump from 2006 even before Trump became President of the United States. The media often described Cohen as a "fixer" for Trump before he was imprisoned and disbarred for several federal crimes.
  • Michael Dukakis was born on November 3, 1933. He is a retired American lawyer and politician who served twice as the governor of Massachusetts. He served from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1983 to 1991. Dukakis holds the title of being the longest-serving governor in Massachusetts and the second Greek-American governor in the United States.

Other politicians named Michael but known by the shortened name "Mike" are listed below.

Actors Named Michael

  • Sir Michael Caine is an English actor who was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite Jr. in 1933.
  • Michael Douglas was born to the son of Kirk Douglas in 1944. Michael followed in the steps of his father and is a well-known actor.
  • Michael Ealy is an American actor who was actually born Michael Brown on August 3, 1973. He uses Ealy for his stage name.
  • Michael J. Fox is a popular Canadian-American retired actor who was born on June 9, 1961. The "J" in his name doesn't stand for anything. His middle name is Andrew. He uses the middle initial "J" so people would not get him mixed up with another actor named Michael Fox. He didn't like the sound of "Michael A. Fox."
  • Michael B. Jordan is an actor and producer. Unlike the "J" in Michael J. Fox's name, the "B" in Michael B. Jordan stands for the actor's middle name which is Bakari. He uses the "B" to distinguish him from Michael Jordan, the former NBA professional basketball player.
  • Michael Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5, 1951. He is an American actor.
  • Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz. He was born October 31, 1936 and died July 1, 1991. Landon was an American actor, writer, director, and producer. He was well-known for his roles as Little Joe Cartwright in Bonanza, Charles Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie, and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven. Landon appeared on the cover of TV Guide 22 times, second only to Lucille Ball.
  • Michael Learned is the only known female with that name. The American actress was born on April 9, 1939, and is known for her role as Olivia Walton in the long-running CBS series The Waltons from1972 to1981.

Athletes Named Michael

  • Michael Jordan, born February 17, 1963, is a former NBA basketball player. He is owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and of 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.
  • Michael Phelps is a former American competitive swimmer born on June 30, 1985. He has 28 medals which makes him the most decorated Olympian of all time.
  • Michael Vick, born June 26, 1980, is a former professional American football quarterback. He played 13 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), mostly with the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Michael Strahan, born November 21, 1971, is recognized by the gap in his front teeth. He is a former professional football player who spent his entire 15-year football career with the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He is currently one of the co-hosts on Good Morning America and host of the $100,000 Pyramid game show. Strahan is the only actor who has been to space.

Musicians Named Michael

  • Michael Bolton is an American singer. He was born as Michael Bolotin on February 26, 1953.
  • Michael Bublé is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and record producer born on September 9, 1975.
  • Michael Jackson was born on August 29, 1958, and died on June 25, 2009. The American singer, songwriter, and dancer was known as the "King of Pop."


  • Michael Kors, a well-known American fashion designer, was born on August 9, 1959. Kors is the chief creative officer and honorary chairman of his brand which sells men's and women's ready-to-wear clothes, accessories, footwear, jewelry, and fragrances. Many men and women own a Michael Kors product.
  • Michael Moore is an American documentary filmmaker, author, and activist. He was born on April 23, 1954.

Much Longer List

The list of people named Michael is much longer. The above is my personal list of Michaels. You probably could list your own favorites.

Last but not least is Michael Minnicks, my only son who was deliberately named Michael to have my initials. When he was younger and lived at home with me, we had to look carefully at mail when it was delivered. If it was addressed to M. Minnicks, we did not know immediately which one should open it.

Mike: The Short Name for Michael

There are many people named Michael who are well known by Mike. Some males love their real name so much they prefer that people call them by the name they were born with. Do not assume every Michael wants to be addressed as Mike. It is not in good taste to call people by a name they do not prefer. Besides, all Michaels are not Mikes. Other nicknames include Mick, Mickey, and Mikey.

The common shortened version of Michael is Mike. It dates back to the 1800s and is commonly used as a nickname for Michael.

  • Former professional boxer Mike Tyson answers to his shortened name. Mike, like Michael, suggests a strong, robust, and athletic personality. Tyson who was born on June 30, 1966, was also nicknamed "Iron Mike" and "Kid Dynamite" during his early career. He still brags about being one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time.
  • Mike Huckabee, born on August 24, 1955, is a Baptist minister, an American politician, and a political commentator. He served as the 44th governor of Arkansas. For the Republican Party presidential nomination in both 2008 and 2016, Huckabee was a candidate.
  • Mike Pence, an American politician and the 48th Vice President of the United States served in President Donald Trump's administration, was born on June 7, 1959.
  • Mike Pompeo, born on December 30, 1963, is an American politician diplomat, businessman, attorney, former Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and former 70th Secretary of State in Donald Trump's administration.
  • Mickey Rooney used that as his stage name. His real name was Joseph Yule Jr. He was born on September 23, 1920, and died on April 6, 2014. Rooney was an American actor, comedian, producer, and radio entertainer.
  • A lesser-used derivation of Michael is Mikey. Older boys and certainly not men do not like to be called Mikey. Actor John Gilchrist appeared in Life cereal commercials that aired in the 1970s with the catchphrase, “Mikey Likes It.”

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