Thursday, February 21, 2013



Roughly one in 142 Americans carries the name Kenneth, which has a first-name rate of 80.41% and a middle-name rate of 19.59%. When the population statistics of the United States are compared against these statistics, it indicates that there are approximately 2,224,539 people with the name of Kenneth in the nation. The most common derivative nicknames of Kenneth are “Ken” and “Kenny.” These 10 men are some of the most interesting public figures who have the name Ken or its parent name Kenneth.  NOTE:  some of these you will see on other lists of Kens on this site!

  1. Sir Kenneth Branagh – Born in Northern Ireland in December of 1960, Sir Kenneth Branagh is a revered film star. Nominations for five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards and the winner of one Emmy and three BAFTAs are an indicator of his immense talent and the respect of his film colleagues. While Sir Kenneth has been known to lend his talents to a variety of projects, he is perhaps best well known for his starring and directing roles in multiple Shakespearean film adaptations.

  2. Ken Burns – Well known to fans of documentary film-making and cultural Americana, Ken Burns is an award-winning documentary director and producer who’s known for his distinctive use of simple but arresting musical scores in his films, as well as the technique of slow zooming on still photographs that’s been dubbed “The Ken Burns effect” in Apple’s iMovie and iPhoto programs.

  3. Ken Galbraith – A Canadian-born economist and public official who became an expert on American liberalism and capitalism, John Kenneth “Ken” Galbraith is certainly an interesting figure. He served in the Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson administrations and acted as the United States Ambassador to India under the John F. Kennedy administration. Upon his death in 2006, it was posited that Mr. Galbraith was the most well-known economist in the world. For his services in economics, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was named a Commandeur de la L├ęgion d’honneur by the government of France.

  4. Kenneth Benton – A former English MI6 officer turned spy novelist, Kenneth Benton is a fascinating figure who brought his real-life MI6 experiences to the fictional page with a series of popular crime thrillers and spy novels after his retirement. In 1974, he became president of the Crime Writers Association.

  5. Ken Wilber – Whether you subscribe to his theories or not, Ken Wilber and his amalgamation of philosophy, ecology, developmental psychology and mysticism is certainly interesting. His body of work explores what he calls Integral Theory, which is 1998-established Integral Institute teaches.

  6. Ken Starr – While he served as a federal Court of Appeals judge and Solicitor General under the George H.W. Bush administration, Ken Starr will always be best known for his role in the sordid sex scandal of the Clinton administration and President Clinton’s impeachment.

  7. Kenneth M. Taylor – Ken Taylor was a Second Lieutenant Pilot in the United States Army Air Forces who was stationed at Pearl Harbor on the day of the Japanese attack. He was awarded with the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart for his efforts that day, and served in active duty for 27 years. In 1970, the film Tora! Tora! Tora! depicted the momentous event and Taylor’s role in it.

  8. Ken Dryden – Truly a man of many talents, Ken Dryden is a politician, lawyer, author, businessman and former goaltender in the NHL from Hamilton, Ontario. With so many accomplishments under his belt and a federal elections defeat in 2011, it’s intriguing to wonder what this multifaceted man will do next.

  9. Ken Kesey – A rallying point in the counter-cultural movement that started at the end of the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s, Ken Kesey was a vocal advocate of hallucinogenic drug use who challenged the status quo. While he wrote a variety of popular novels, articles and short stories in his lifetime, arguably his most popular piece was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which was later made into a film starring the great Jack Nicholson.

  10. Ken Carson – On the surface, Barbie’s boyfriend may seem like the antithesis of interesting men. A generic blonde with perfectly coiffed locks, deep dimples and an even deeper tan, Ken doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of excitement. As the patriarch in a sea of pink, however, Ken does serve as an interesting figure in sociological studies of gender roles.

I still find it fascinating for some reason that there are so many Ken’s out there. 

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