Who Shares Your Name?

May 5th, 2010

twomensamenameYou may be a unique and inimitable individual, but chances are your name can’t make the same boast. Some names are far more common than others, but most everyone has to share their moniker.

Have you ever wondered about your “name doppelganger?” A man named Wes Moore did. What he found was startling.

Wes Moore was born in Maryland, but moved to Brooklyn three years later when his father passed away. His mother did her best to keep Wes away from the gang members and drug dealers who pervaded their neighborhood. She enrolled him a private school on the other side of town and tried to keep close tabs on the young boy and his two siblings.

Despite his mother’s best efforts, Wes seemed to be heading down a very dangerous life path. When he was picked up by local police officers, his mother knew it was time to act. She sent her son off to military school at the tender age of 12. This decision changed his life forever. After some initial rebellions, including running away five times in just four days, Wes settled in and became an extraordinary student

After graduating, Wes went on to become an intern for the mayor of Baltimore, earn Economic and International Relations degrees at Johns Hopkins University and attend the University of Oxford. He would later enjoy tremendous success on Wall Street and as a White House fellow.

In 2000, Wes heard about a young man who shared his namesake, but seemingly few other attributes. The other Wes Moore had a very different life – he and his brother were wanted by the Baltimore police for the murder of an officer named Bruce Prothero. Following their capture and trial, both men received a life sentence.

The successful Wes Moore was intrigued by this man. After years of contemplation, he decided to reach out with a letter. To his surprise, the incarcerated Wes wrote back.

Over the next few years the two Wes Moore’s wrote each other dozens of times, and the Wall Street genius decided to visit the other man. To his surprise, he discovered they had quite a bit in common. Both men were born in Maryland and grew up in tough neighborhoods. Neither one had their father present during childhood. Each one encountered gangs and drugs at a young age. They had remarkably similar backgrounds, but followed wildly divergent paths.

Wes Moore, the one who went to military school, wrote a book about his experiences. The Other Wes Moore garnered major attention, and even landed the author a spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Wes’ curiosity about a man who shared his name led him on a journey he never expected, but one that changed both of their lives.

Wes was not alone in his quest to find someone with the same name. Jim Killeen set out on a similar mission, and also met with great success. He located and reached out to six other men named Jim Killeen. After some initial correspondence, he arranged for the seven Jims to meet in Killeen, Texas.

Jim Killeen is a filmmaker who created a documentary about his experience. He made new friends while capturing their fascinating tale. His efforts also earned him a spot on The Oprah Show, giving his film some incredible free publicity. It all began with his decision to find people who also claimed the name that was bestowed to him at birth.

Who shares your name? PeopleFinders can help you find out. Use a People Search to locate anyone in the US who has the same name and learn more about them. You may be intrigued to find out how much, or how little, you have in common. Whether you decide to turn your experiences into a work of art, like Wes and Jim, or just use it for your own benefit, learning more about these people can become an event that you will treasure for a lifetime.

Set off on your own people finding adventure; learn more about your “name partners” and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.

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