The other day I was having a conversation with a hypothetical friend and he told me that “Bill” is the worst and most boring male first name of all time. He said things like, “No mother looks at her newborn baby boy and thinks ‘I’m gonna call him Bill’ unless she doesn’t give a fuck about him” and “Bill is the cigarette-induced lung cancer of first names.”
Obviously I disagreed with him and started rattling off all the historical greats named Bill that I could think of on the spot. In that moment I realized that Bill is quite possible one of the most legendary names of all time. Here’s my top ten:
10. Bill Buckner
Best known for: Accumulating over 2,700 career hits and winning a batting title in 1980
Buckner, 69, was one of the best in the world at his position, and helped lead the Mets to a World Series title in 1986.
9. William “Bill” Shakespeare
Best contribution to society: Old plays
Shakespeare, 454, posthumously earned international fame when his 16th century play, Romeo and Juliet, was referenced in Taylor Swift’s 2008 smash hit Love Story.
8. Bill of Rights
Best known for: Opening for The Constitution
The 1798 Founding Fathers breakthrough project has been showing its ability to stand the test of time by singlehandedly fueling the careers of modern celebrities like Kaitlin “Gun Girl” Bennett.
7. Bill Burr
Best known for: Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience, Rough N’ Rowdy commentary, destroying Philadelphia
The 50-year-old legendary comic has released at least six highly successful stand-up specials and is widely regarded as one of the funniest comedians alive.
6. Bill Walton
Best known for: Winning NBA championships
The highly-decorated basketball legend and sportscaster won two college national titles and two NBA titles in his illustrious career.
5. Bill Gates
Best contribution to society: Billions of dollars to charity
Bill Gates, the 63-year-old faithful husband who indirectly gave us Microsoft Paint and the Xbox, is currently worth over 96 billion dollars.
4. Bill Cowher
Best known for: NFL coaching success
Bill Cowher earned the 4th ranking for being one of the most recognizable, influential, and decorated NFL coaches of all time. The 61-year-old legend won EIGHT division titles, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl in his 15 years as a head coach.
3. Billy Ray Cyrus
Best contributions to society: Achy Breaky Heart, Miley Cyrus
Ray Cyrus, 57, was thrusted back into the limelight in early January when he was named Barstool Sports’ 2018 Most Popular Celebrity from Kentucky. But perhaps his most notable accomplishment was producing Miley Cyrus (1992), the 26-year-old superstar who’s performed alongside some of the biggest names on the planet.
2. Billy Mays
Best known for: Dominating television screens across the country
The product-pitching prodigy hasn’t made a TV appearance in almost a decade, but he was undoubtedly one of the most recognizable salesmen in the world at his peak.
1. Bill Nye
Best known for: Revolutionizing Science
Nye, 63, who’s known in some circles as “The Diddy of Science” and “The Michael Jackson of Educational Television” is likely one of the most influential and legendary people of all time, let alone people named Bill.