Friday, 13 April 2007
The Wright Stuff
It's the ultimate question, the holy grail of Armstrongism, a mystery more profound than the meaning of life...
What does the 'W' in Herbert W. Armstrong stand for?
There have been false trails. One officially sanctioned story had it that the 'W' was added sometime in the 1940s after mail-delivery confusion with another Herbert Armstrong in Pasadena (wouldn't want those donations going astray!) But a quick check of the Autobiography shows Armstrong was using the initial from the beginning of his journalistic career.
In the 1970s I came across an article called "The Spiritual Wilderness of Herbert William Armstrong" in the Australian Lutheran. Credible? I doubt it.
Now there's a new contender: Herbert Wright Armstrong. Just type the whole name into Google inside quote marks. Who'd dare argue with answers.com or Wikipedia? Yet as far as I know there's no documentation to prove it one way or another. So how did Herb pick up the new moniker? We can probably credit Tammy Roberts.
Herbert W. Armstrong was named after his mother's brother, Herschel Herbert WRIGHT. I speculate that the "W" in his name stands for WRIGHT...Herbert Wright Armstrong, a common practice to use the mother's maiden name as a middle name for her sons. (Tammy Roberts, Genealogy and HWA)
Speculation or not it now seems Herb is to be declared "Wright" regardless, courtesy of the Internet. Considering the energy he put into muddying the waters, one can only imagine that the "discovery", if correct, will have him rolling over in the Pasadena Lawn Cemetery.
And if Tammy has it wrong? Just look at that knowing smile!