The name Irene ranked 504th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of 2000-2003 Social Security Administration statistics and 76th in popularity for females of all ages in a sample of the 1990 US Census.
This name is highly rated in the 1990 U.S. Census popularity survey of all ages, but after 1960 does not appear in the state data listing the most popular baby names.
This was the name of the Greek goddess of peace. Until the 20th century, it was commonly pronounced in three syllables (i-REE-nee).
This was changed through the combined popularity of a series of two-syllable influences: dancer Irene Castle (1893-1969), a popular musical comedy called Irene, and Goodnight, Irene, a plaintive folk ballad by Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter, 1888-1949).
Multiple Tony Award-winning actress Irene Worth (born Hattie Adams in 1916) is a notable preserver of the three-syllable pronunciation.
Working jointly with her husband, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, artificially produced radioactive elements by bombarding other elements with alpha particles (see list of Mathematicians, Physicists & Astronomers)