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Most popular baby names for boys the year you were born

  • 1955

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: David
    - #3 boys' name: James

    For the first time in 35 years, Robert did not make the cut as one of the top three most popular boys’ names. It was instead replaced by the name David. Hebrew in origin, David means “beloved.

  • 1956

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: James
    - #3 boys' name: Robert

    The following year, Robert was back, with David sliding down in popularity. James Dean released one of his final movies, “Rebel Without a Cause,” in 1955, shortly before passing away in a car accident. The movie’s wild popularity and the media attention surrounding Dean’s death are likely reasons for the uptick in the name’s popularity that year.

  • 1957

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: James
    - #3 boys' name: David

    The ’50s and ’60s were the last decades during which the majority of households attended church services every Sunday. It would appear the influence of organized religion was definitely rubbing off in 1957: In the Christian tradition, Michael is an archangel, James was one of the 12 disciples, and David an Old Testament hero.

  • 1958–1959

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: David
    - #3 boys' name: James

    Some of entertainment’s most recognizable faces were given these years’ most popular names. The King of Pop, Michael Jackson, was born in 1958, and David Pierce of “Frasier” was born in 1959.

  • 1960

    - #1 boys' name: David
    - #2 boys' name: Michael
    - #3 boys' name: James

    The 34th president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first Republican to hold office in almost 20 years. A popular president in his time, many conservative parents would undoubtedly have named their son’s after him. If Dwight didn’t strike their fancy as a perfect name, then David (the former president’s middle name) may have fit the bill.

  • 1961–1962

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: David
    - #3 boys' name: John

    John spent most of the ’50s off the list of most popular baby boy names, but in the early 1960s it made its triumphant return. John F. Kennedy won the presidential election in 1960, which may have attracted parents with political aspirations for their sons to the less-trendy name.

  • 1963–1965

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: John
    - #3 boys' name: David

    Beatlemania was in full swing in 1964. The band had just begun attracting attention in America, and the group’s songs were getting hours of airplay on radio stations across the country. John Lennon was at the head of the group, and many parents were choosing to name their sons after the singer.

  • 1966–1967

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: David
    - #3 boys' name: James

    The James Bond movie “You Only Live Twice” came out in 1967, bringing the name back into popularity for parents who hoped their sons would have thrilling lives. The name David was also having its day: “Friends” actor David Schwimmer was also born in 1966.

  • 1968

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: David
    - #3 boys' name: John

    1968 was a wild year in American history. Between the Vietnam War, race riots, and the Apollo 7 mission, things were changing—and changing quickly. Parents were eager to choose tried-and-true names for their sons that had stood the test of time for the last 20 years.

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  • 1969

    - #1 boys' name: Michael
    - #2 boys' name: David
    - #3 boys' name: James

    Popular music label Motown had a huge influence on baby boy names in 1969. The Jackson 5 released back-to-back hits that year, with singles “I Want You Back” and “Who’s Loving You,” eventually selling 2 million copies. With Michael Jackson the dominant voice of the group, more and more parents found themselves choosing this moniker for their own newborns. The godfather of soul, James Brown, also released a whopping four albums in 1969, leading other parents to give their sons the famous crooner's name.