Where My Name (John Ross) Came From

Growing up, I didn’t really  think much of my name: John Ross. I didn’t hate it, I wasn’t in love with it, it was just a name. One thing I did love though was being called “J.R.” I always felt that “JR” was just a cool nickname.

I forget what grade I was in, but one day during Social Studies class, we came across another “John Ross”; the first time I ever heard of someone having the same name as I did. The “John Ross” we were studying “was the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Native American Nation from 1828–1866. Described by European Americans as the Moses of his people, Ross led the Nation through tumultuous years of development, relocation to Oklahoma, and the American Civil War.” – Wikipedia. I didn’t really make much of it though. I just thought it was cool that I was named after a guy who was pretty awesome; a guy who meant a lot to his community. Since that day, I thought I was named after “John Ross: the Moses of the Cherokee.”

John Ross: The Moses of the Cherokee

John Ross: The Moses of the Cherokee

This all changed once I started interacting with older people more. Starting in high school, when a new teacher would call my name out for the first time they would say, “Oh! Like J.R. from the show Dallas!” and I would be like, “yea whatever bro, I was named after the Moses of the Cherokee, not some TV Show character!” Of course I would say this in my head and not out loud, lol. And this trend has continued ever since: “Oh like J.R. from Dallas,” or “I know who shot you!”

I’m not sure why, but last week I decided to Wikipedia the “John Ross” from Dallas. This guy “was a central, nefarious figure on the hit CBS television series Dallas (1978–1991). J. R. was a covetous, egocentric, and amoral oil baron, who was constantly plotting subterfuges to plunder his foes and their Texas-sized wallets.” – Wikipedia. WTHECK?! When I read this, I was glad to be named after the Moses guy and not this A-Hole guy.

John Ross Ewing from Dallas

John Ross Ewing from Dallas

But then I started thinking: why were the teachers and all the other old people so excited and intrigued when they would say “Oh! Like J.R. from Dallas?” So I read more about this John Ross from Dallas. As I read, I found out that:

(1) “J. R. Ewing is considered one of television’s most popular characters,” and

(2) “In 1999 TV Guide ranked him number 11 on its “50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time” list.

Ahhh, it all make sense now! Although John Ross Ewing was a doucher of a character, he was actually a big reason why the show was a big hit.


And everything came full circle just yesterday when I saw that my mom “Liked” the Dallas Page on FaceBook! I asked her right away if John Ross Ewing was indeed the person she named me after. She responded with, “Yup!….I used to watch every episode, and I LOVE “JR”….:)” That’s just so damn awesome!


I’ve really grown to love my name “John Ross.” I feel that it fits me perfectly.


So there you have it, I was named after John Ross Ewing: The Doucher (but a very cool and popular guy) from Dallas and not the John Ross: the Moses of the Cherokee.