Why did 'Jason' briefly become such a popular name?

At the Social Security Administration’s Baby Name site you can see that the boy’s name ‘Jason’ went from being the 420th most common boy’s name in the 1950s to being the 3rd most popular in the 1970s. It was 87th most popular in the 1960s, so I’m guessing that the name became popular in the latter half of the 1960s.

Why did this fairly uncommon name become one of the top 3 so quickly? In the 1950s names like Santos, Royce, and Rufus were more popular than Jason. Was there a famous person or character who had the name in the 1960s?

There was a character named Jason Weber on The Guiding Light in the 1965-66 season. The name didn’t get to be on the top 10 list until 1971, but it may have started to become common in 1965, then become more and more common until it was one of the top 10 names. Alan Thicke’s character on Family Ties was also named Jason, but this was during 1982-1989, so it seems more likely that the character was given a name that would have been very common at the time. It’s very unlikely that someone who was the character’s age in 1982 would have had that name – far more likely he would have been a John or Bob or Bill. (I wonder how likely it would have been for someone in 1955 to be named Ward.)

Nitpick… Alan Thicke was on Growing Pains, which was 1985-1992. So says IMDB. I’m actually ashamed for knowing that, thanks.

Oh and I forgot to add, my brother’s name is Jason, he was born in '75… I thought it was a Scandinavian name, as the rest of us have Scandinavian names. I’ve also noticed that in graphs with months at the bottom, its usually only the initial of the months, so July August September October November spells JASON. I thought it semi-interesting.

Jason King was a popular (and unbelievably camp) TV character in the UK in 1971, and the name seems to have really taken off over here after that.

(What were those mothers thinking of? Including my sister … :slight_smile: )

Jason and the Argonauts was a very popular action flick in 1963 (eye-popping effects by Ray Harryhausen), with Jason as the dashing hero of Greek mythology. Nothing like brave deeds of daring-do to spark a wave of namesakes.

My given name is occasionally Jason - I was born in 1973, but my parents (in particular my Dad) were inspired by the popular 1963 film, Jason and the Argonauts.


Don’t forget there was a Jason on The Walton’s, which was extremely popular in the 1970’s. It would be interesting to know why the series’ creator, Earl Hamner, decided to give this character, based on his real-life brother Clifton, that name.

There was a sit-com in the US 1968-1970 called “Here Come the Brides” The three male stars were named Jason, Jeremy and Joshua. I believe all of these names subsequently became very popular. PS Bobby Sherman was Jeremy.

Jason Voorhees first appeared on screen on 1980.

It appears as though the early 80’s also had a revival of sorts for the name…