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What's In A Name? A Madoff Weighs In

An example of collateral damage in the Bernard Madoff scandal: a Chicago layer named Ari Madoff.

Ari Madoff — who pronounces it MAD-off, with a short a — tells NPR's Robert Siegel he has been introducing himself these days as "Ari no-relation-to-Bernard Madoff." That doesn't cover it, however, because Ari Madoff's grandfather is also named Bernard Madoff.

"I've elongated it to Ari no-relation-to-the-Bernard Madoff you're about to ask me about," he tells Siegel.

Ari Madoff says questions about his relationship to the disgraced financial titan have undergone an evolution.

"People used to ask me, 'DO you have any relationship to the all-star, superstar guru of investments, Bernard Madoff?' To which I'd respond, 'No,' " he says. "That question started changing a few weeks ago: 'Do you have any relation to the expletive, expletive, expletive Bernard Madoff?' And so I started thinking, 'I wonder if this is going to have any fallout on my career.' "

Ari Madoff says he has considered changing his name.

"My wife and I are expecting our first kid in March. So my wife sits up at night reading the baby name book, thinking of what would be the most appropriate first name for our coming child," he says. "At the same time, I'm toiling over what would be the best last name to pick for our coming young one."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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