I have created a list of famous people to use for the P part of PAO. It’s attached. The list has 4093 entries currently.
I got the majority of the names from the “Celebrity Birthday” type of websites, so some of the names are people I have never heard of, but those people might be meaningful to someone else so I left them in the list. I also left all names in the list so it would be useful regardless of which encoding system you use (Dominic, GMS, create your own, etc).
Some of the entries are the same person with a slight modification. For instance, there is an entry for “Leonardo Da Vinci” (with initials LV) and also “Leonardo Da-Vinci” (with initials LD). That way if someone needs a person for LV or LD, there will be an option for them, and it’s up to them not to use the same person twice.
I removed some punctuation (mainly ‘apostrophes’), in case anyone wanted to try and use the second letter of the last name (maybe for a 1000 person list). So “Conan O’Brien” is in the list as “Conan OBrien”.
I also removed name suffixes, so “Martin Luther King Jr.” is just “Martin Luther King”. I had a script generate the initials from the last name in the list, so I left off suffixes, otherwise MLK would have MJ for his initials, which isn’t really what we want.
For name prefixes, there are two or three entries. For example, “Dr. Phil McGraw”, “Phil McGraw”, and “Dr. Phil”, so you could use him for three different initials. Again it’s up to you not to use people twice. Same goes for “Sir Edmund Hillary”, he’s also “Edmund Hillary”. A few others are present twice, such as “Mr. Rogers” and “Fred Rogers”, because he’s more commonly known as just Mr. Rogers.
It’s possible there are some mis-spelled names, since I just wrote a script to pull the names from birthday websites. I didn’t see spelling as a big deal, because we are primarily interested in the initials, and I at least expect those to be correct.
The initials.txt file could be renamed to initials.csv and opened in Excel if you so choose. The data is formatted as CSV (comma separated values). The list is already sorted by initials.
If anyone else has a similar list, I can combine the lists pretty easily. I already wrote the scripts that will add people with their initials and remove any duplicates.
Hope this helps someone.