Gayle King, unlike other celebrities who changed their names to be more recognizable, changed her first name so she could write it in a whimsical way. She was born as Gail, but decided to replace the letters in her name so it would look better in writing, while still keeping the phonetics.
"I liked making the loopy 'Y' in cursive," King explained. Even if she hadn't changed her name for aesthetic reasons, King still would have earned recognition as one of the most successful journalists in news today — you may know her as Oprah's BFF, but she was also one of TIME's Most Influential People in 2019.
King changing her birth name also proves her willingness to take risks — something she's done throughout her entire career. "Don't take a foolish risk, but I think it's good in life to take a risk," she said. "I'm never under any illusion that, despite the success that I've had, that there's never another rung I can climb on the ladder."