The Name Changers


Born in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 30, 1954,[Lawrence] Summers was born into a Jewish family, the son of two economists, Robert Summers and Anita Summers, who are both professors at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the nephew of two Nobel laureates in economics: Paul Samuelson (sibling of Robert Summers, who, following an older brother's example, changed the family name from Samuelson to Summers) and Kenneth Arrow (Anita Summers's brother). He spent most of his childhood in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he attended Harriton High School. – Wikipedia


Some twenty-five years ago I published an article “The Name Changers” (Forum, Winter 1983-4, pp. 65-71) in which I discussed the phenomenon of Jewish Americans who, forsaking their families’ Jewish names, embraced non-Jewish family names.  In particular, I discussed Robert K. Merton, born Skolnik (whom I called “Edward R. Howard”), and Irving Howe (born Horenstein), whom I called “Montgomery.”  Both have since died, so there is little purpose in hiding their identities now.


Click here for the original article.



February 17, 2010 .