Top Mid-Century Baby Boy Names

If you’ve been searching around for nursery furniture and decor ideas — especially if you’ve been searching on blogs — then you’ve probably heard the term “mid-century modern” a few dozen times.

It’s a coveted design style, taking influence (roughly) from the 30s to the 60s. And when I saw The Bump’s list of the top baby names from each decade of the 1900s, I was curious as to what kind of baby names were popular during this time period.

Before names like Christopher, Jason, Brian and Matthew dominated the charts, these baby boy names popped up in the Top 10 lists from the 1930s to the 1960s:

  • Robert 1 of 14
    Robert landed in the Top 5 throughout the entire mid-century era (#1 in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, and slightly dropping to #3 in the 50s). And there are so many examples of famous Roberts from this time period, like Robert Redford (shown), Robert F. Kennedy, and Robert Wagner.

    Photo source: IMDB
  • James 2 of 14
    While there was a huge shift in girls' names in the 1930s, the boys' names stayed relatively the same from the early century — with James even edging out Robert for the #1 spot in the 40s and 50s. And when you think of the 50s, is there anyone more iconic than James Dean?

    Photo source: Wikipedia
  • John 3 of 14
    John hovered in the #3/#4 spot consistently throughout the mid-century years. Not surprising considering, hello, John Lennon? John Wayne?

    Photo source: Wikipedia; Photo source: IMDB
  • William 4 of 14
    William was also in the top 10 throughout the 30s to 60s.

    Photo source: IMDB (William Holden)
  • Richard 5 of 14
    Richard was in the top 10 until it suddenly fell off in the 70s. But as for the mid-century era, Richard (or Richie!) was one of the most popular names for boys.

    Photo source: Wikipedia
  • Charles 6 of 14
    Charlie is a classic name for any decade — especially in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Fitting, considering Charlie Brown is one of the most famous characters of all time.

    Photo source: Wikipedia
  • Donald 7 of 14
    From real actors like Don Murray to fictional mid-century characters like Don Draper and Donald Duck, Donald was an extremely popular name. However it only appeared in the Top 10 in the 1930s, replaced by Ronald in the 40s.

    Photo source: mid-century productions
  • George 8 of 14
    George was only in the Top 10 in the 1930s, but stars like George Harrison kept the name relevant throughout the mid-century era.

    Photo source: IMDB
  • Thomas 9 of 14
    You were sure to find plenty of little Tommys running around during this time period. It's not quite as popular as it once was (except for maybe Thomas the Train), but it'll always be a classic.

    Photo source: IMDB (Disney star Tommy Kirk)
  • Michael 10 of 14
    You may think of Michael as one of the all-time popular names for boys, but it didn't appear as a top baby name until 1940, where it jumped from #9 in the 40s to #2 in the 50s — then dominating the #1 spot in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Did Michael Jackson have anything to do with it?

    Photo source:
  • Ronald 11 of 14
    Ronald only appeared in the Top 10 list in the 1940s, but actor-turned-politician Ronald Reagan helped make it a handsome name.

    Photo source: IMDB
  • David 12 of 14
    David was a popular name in the 40s and 50s, but it really skyrocketed in the 60s. Not all that surprising when considering teen heartthrobs Davy Jones, David Bowie, and David Cassidy were making young girls swoon.

    Photo source: Wikipedia; Photo source: Wikipedia
  • Mark 13 of 14
    Mark was only a Top 10 baby name in the 40s and 50s, never climbing into the Top 5 before falling off completely. But it's certainly a classic name to consider.

    Photo source: Wikipedia (Mark Twain)
  • Jeffrey 14 of 14
    Jeffrey snuck into the #10 spot in the 1950s, but there were certainly plenty of icons back from the mid-century era — such as Donna Reed's husband on The Donna Reed Show (Jeff Stone), as well as actor Jeffrey Hunter.

    Photo source: Wikipedia

See all of the Top Baby Names of the Century at The Bump.

Also check out the most popular mid-century baby names for girls.


Read more of Michelle’s writing at Early Mama.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago

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