Kermit the Name

A Brief History of Kermit

That's a funny name!

If you think Kermit sounds funny, how about Diarmuid? That's an Irish name, perhaps from di-tharmait meaning free from envy. It evolved into surnames like Dermot and Kermit, both of which became first names.

So how did I get the name?

That's an interesting story.

About 200 years ago there was a man who owned a shipping company in New York. That was Captain Robert Kermit.

Captain Kermit had a partner, his brother-in-law Charles Carow. Carow named his daughter Edith Kermit Carow.

Edith married her childhood friend, a young widower named Theodore Roosevelt. They named one of their sons Kermit Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt became the youngest President of the United States and his entire family became celebrities. People even named their children after the Roosevelts. Around this time a boy was born in Tennessee. He was named Kermit Gibbons.

The Gibbons family moved to Texas when Kermit was just a baby. Gibbons became a Methodist minister and served in the Southwest Texas Conference for many years. Several of his churches were in the Lower Rio Grande Valley: Edcouch-Elsa, Edinburg, McAllen, Brownsville. A young man from Hargill thought highly of Reverend Gibbons. That was my father. He named one of his sons Kermit. That is me.

Are there any famous people named Kermit?

Are there? Let's see.

There are at least three generations of Kermit Roosevelt:

Kermit Roosevelt, Sr. - Son of the President.
Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. - Grandson of the President. Career man for the OSS / CIA. Best known for masterminding Project Ajax, the CIA coup in 1953 that toppled the Iranian government and installed the Shah.
Kermit Roosevelt III - Great-great-grandson of the President. Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and author of several books. A nice guy who was courteous enough to reply to my email about our shared name.

There are famous athletes:

Kermit Alexander - Football, Los Angeles Rams
Kermit Washington - Basketball, Los Angeles Lakers
Kermit Zarley - Golf, played on the PGA Tour for 18 years

In the field of arts and entertainment:

Kermit Lasner was editor of Newsweek magazine.
Kermit Schaefer was famous for his compilation of bloopers.

Also named Kermit:

A city in Texas.
A small town in West Virginia.
A file transfer protocol for computers.
And, of course, the frog.

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© 2008  Kermit Lancaster