What Is Mitch McConnell's Real Name?

Mitch McConnell has earned more than a few nicknames during his time in the political spotlight. As the Louisville Courier Journal details, the controversial Republican senator has been known as the Grim Reaper and Moscow Mitch, among others. Some of these names are meant to be offensive, and others are ones the politician himself has proudly adopted for his own means. For instance, McConnell dubbed himself the Grim Reaper in a display of his congressional power. 

While speaking to Owensboro community leaders in April 2020, he reassured those gathered that progressive policies, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's celebrated Green New Deal, would never pass provided Republicans retained control of the Senate through the year. "If I'm still the majority leader in the Senate think of me as the Grim Reaper," McConnell quipped. "None of that stuff is going to pass." 

However, although he's been known by many titles, McConnell's typical moniker is also a nickname. 

Mitch McConnell's real name is less punchy

As CNN notes, the man we all know as Mitch McConnell, or the Grim Reaper, or whatever else, was actually born Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. Presumably, he dropped the "Addison" because it was punchier to go by Mitch. Or maybe the Republican was concerned about appealing to America's heartland and figured "Addison" might be a bit too fancy for them. 

McConnell was initially elected to the Senate in 1984 and has served there consistently in the years since, even replacing Republican leader Bill Frist in 2006. In 2018, the outspoken politician became the longest-serving Republican leader in history, breaking Sen. Bob Dole's record in the process. McConnell might be a controversial presence, but his peerless record speaks for itself.

In a 2020 Washington Post profile, Rep. John Yarmuth stated that "Mitch has been as focused as anyone I've ever known on ... his political power." He added: "He gets up every day since [he was] 5 years old, and the first thing he thinks about is 'What can I do to enhance my political power?'" 

Sen. Lindsey Graham noted: "He's a man of few words, and I think that creates a mystery that works to his advantage. He doesn't speak any more than he has to, which means he doesn't tip his hand more than he needs to." 

Clearly, McConnell knows exactly who he is and what he wants, including going by his middle name for maximum impact.