1st gentleman

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 13 01:36:45 UTC 2004

>Not so. michigan.gov recognizes Daniel Granholm Mulhern as "First
>Gentleman," even in his web address:
And for those interested in the background to Mr. Mulhern's
assumption of the title, he offers the explanation below.  (Seems to
me he wants to have it both ways--striving to be a traditional
gentleman on the one hand, and opting for "Dan" as his "preferred
moniker" from strangers on the other.)

Larry, who admits to not having native intuition on this one.

                            What's in a Name?

                            While doing research on integrity, I
stumbled across a 104 year old essay by a John MacLaren that answered
the question, "What is a Gentleman?"  It's wonderfully written, so
click on the link
[http://ourworld.cs.com/bobbynorthlake/gentleman.html#top ] if you're
interested.  Mr. MacLaren's essay prompted me to put on this public
site the reason why I chose the title "First Gentleman."  Initially,
when people asked me what they should call me I said, "call me Dan,"
and that remains my preferred moniker.  But after being asked
repeatedly, I decided if a title was in order, why not call me "the
first gentleman."  I chose this title for a few reasons.  First,
other male spouses had already claimed the fun names: first hunk,
first dude, and first coach.  Seriously, I learned from my Irish
grandmother's repeated instructions, that gentleman meant something,
and most important it meant that you showed respect to ladies, and a
special fidelity to your lady.  I am proud and humbled to serve my
wife.  As "first lady" connotes a respect for her husband and her
governor, it seems like "first gentleman" is an appropriate mirror
image that conveys respect to the leader of the state.  Second, I
chose the title with the thought that it might help to inject this
word back into our vocabulary.  I think all men should strive to be
"gentlemen," a word, and perhaps therefore a style, that has
unfortunately lost meaning in our culture.  We have lost appreciation
for the humility and civility that the word connotes.  So, I see the
title as something I try to earn every day, by showing respect to my
elders, love for my wife, kindness to children.  Mr. MacLaren says it
so much better than I.  I hope you'll read his thoughts -- more
potent today than at the outset of the 20th century.

                                   - Daniel Granholm Mulhern
                                   - First Gentleman

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