Santa's Whiskers

They Changed Their Name

Playing Santa is one thing, becoming Santa is another. According to the "Long Island News", there are at least 15 people in the U.S. with the legal name Santa Claus. "" says there are 2 in Washington, 2 in Florida, and 1each in Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Nevada and Texas. and the site lists nine Kris Kringles, 1 each in Virginia, Kansas, South Carolina, Illinois, Oregon, Georgia, California, and Alabama:

Frank Pascuzzi

Name change: 2012, Suffolk County, New York. Frank is a construction worker and caterer, and the father of four. His son was born on Christmas day and was given the middle name of “Yule.” At age 54 Frank decided to change his name to Santa Claus. ​ 
For Frank, being Santa is a full-time job that picks up during the Christmas season. He often works up to five parties a day during Christmas time. The rest of the year he manages his catering business, known as Santa’s BBQ, and works a construction job.

David Lynn Porter

Name Change: 2001, Salt Lake City, Utah.  ​ He was born in 1958 and had wanted to be Santa Claus ever since he was a child. Then, in 1992 his wife, Alise, got David to dress up as Santa Claus for one of her dance productions. That started his career. He worked for the Utah Transit Authority and would drive the bus while wearing his red and white suit. He took Santa jobs at receptions and parties at local churches and the Murray Ballet Centre. For years, he appeared as Santa for holiday festivities and a food drive at The Peppermint Place, an Alpine ice cream and dessert store. David finally retired from driving a Utah Transit Authority bus a few years back and now lives on disability with a bad back. But that hasn’t stopped him. He gets around with a giant “candy cane” cane and continues to make nightly visits during December, bringing joy and happiness to those he meets.

Winfred Eugene Holley

Name Change: 1982, Charleston, South Carolina. He was an aircraft maintenance contractor for the U.S. government and his travels took him all over the world, but for years he suspected that he was really Santa Claus. As he said, “I looked like Santa Claus. People called me Santa Claus. I felt like Santa Claus. I was Santa Claus.” In 1982, at age 63, he petitioned the Superior Court in California to change his name to Santa Claus. Thereafter he spent most of his waking hours visiting children’s homes, schools, hospitals, playgrounds and anywhere else children gathered. One of the first things he did after his name change was to arrange with the U.S. Postal Service for a North Pole post office box, in return for which he would answer every child’s letter that included a stamp for return. And he did that.,6988728

Thomas Patrick O'Conner

Name change: 2005, lake Tahoe, New Mexico. He was born in Washington, D.C., in 1947, and over the years has gained experience in a wide variety of areas – as an Anglican monk, a former New York police official, and a background in public safety work. In 2005 O’Conner had his name legally changed, during the decade he lived in Lake Tahoe, New Mexico. And in 2013 he moved to North Pole, Alaska. He has been named president of the North Pole Chamber of Commerce. “I use my name as sort of a mechanism for prompting state and federal officials to co-sign or sign legislation that has a positive effect on children’s health, safety and welfare.” As Santa Claus he ran for president in 2008 and 2012 as a write-in candidate, promoting the need for increased children’s protective services.

Leroy Scholtz

Name change: 1980, New York. ​ Leroy Scholtz was born in Chicago.  In 1960 he was a postman in Wichita, Kansas, when he was asked by a local Sears store to portray Santa for the kids. Back then he wore a fake beard and wig at that point, later growing his own. He lost his job with the Post Office due to diabetes, and in 1970 he moved to North Pole, New York, to become a full time Santa, often appearing on television. He enjoyed being Santa so much that in 1980 he legally changed his name to Santa Claus.  To keep the name Santa protected, he had to go by Santa C. Claus, the C. standing for Christopher.  He embraced the Santa thing wholeheartedly, even donating most of his earnings to charity, keeping only enough to live on. In December of 1985 Leroy was in Chicago working on a video of Christmas stories  He stayed in the Talbott Hotel, but intended to return to Chicago permanently in the new year. But he died, on December 23, 1985, after 25 years of playing Santa Claus.

J. Patrick Allen

Name change: 1995, Bethlehem, PA.  ​ He started appearing as the jolly old elf in 1963 for friends, family and the Catasauqua Fire Company. In 1982, he was in a car accident and was laid up for 13 months. During that time he gained weight and no longer needed pillows for his costume. In 1983, he went pro, and appeared at the Lehigh Valley Mall greeting children Fridays and Saturdays and Sundays in the same building where he made appearances in 1991 when it was Orr's Department Store. At one point, he even owned 11 reindeer. Since then he and his wife have appeared as Santa and Mrs. Claus at numerous shopping malls, parades, parties and in newspaper ads and television commercials. He was the first Santa at the Mall of America in 1992 in Bloomington, Minn. His advertising clients have included Bed, Bath & Beyond, Harley-Davidson, ShopRite and Tastykake.

Terry Randolph

Name change:1994, Iowa. ​ Born in Iowa City in 1957, Terry served as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He loved playing the local Santa and delivering toys to those in need, and in 1994, at the age of 37, he changed his name to Santa Claus. He passed away in 2010 at the early age of 59. In 1995 Terry moved his family to Yuma, Arizona. There they lived in a care home where they helped take care of seriously mentally ill people who were unable to live alone. But he also played Santa, and not just at Christmas time. At one point he went on TV and helped to raise $1.9 million for a little boy in Iowa who couldn’t have an operation without the money. He travelled for other kids as well, going on national television and helping to raise funds for those who had leukemia.  And during the season he was Santa at the Boys and Girls Club, the San Luis Orphanage, the Lions Club, foster children in Parker and the local hospital.