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The Gender Scoreboard

Male 7
Female 10
Indeterminate 2

"Bonafides" only

Look! Madison Avenue has learned how to take advantage of our androgyny! (Click image above).

An Amazing Offer!

If you're Dana Cooke, you've got it coming! All Dana Cookes are now offered a free, signed copy of my album Wildman. Just because you're Dana. Freak out your friends when you show them "your" new album. God, I'm laughing already.

To get your free, strangely eponymous CD, you have to be courageous enough to send me your address. This is only courageous, really, if you stop to think about what kind of crackpot would maintain a site like this. But my wife will tell you I'm perfectly sane. Or she would, anyway, if I let her out of the attic.

Request your free album today!



A message from Dana Cooke #1 . . .

This is the Dana Cooke Project — an important international campaign to locate all the Dana Cookes on the planet, to determine as much as possible the gender of those Dana Cookes, and, in the end, to distinguish myself as the only one with "Short Order" in the middle of his or her name.

If you are a Dana Cooke, please do not hesitate to e-mail me and advance the Dana Cooke Project one more notch. Don't be shy. Many others have done it!

Latest update: 06/01/08


Dana Cooke #1
Me, the Singer-Songwriter in Syracuse, N.Y.

I am the subject of this website. I am the only performing Dana Cooke thus far identified. Link for more info.

DC2Dana Cooke #2
The Michigan State volleyball player

Hail, Queen of the Other Danas! Even before there was a full-blown Dana Cooke Project, my website celebrated and monitored the activities of the Mysterious Alter Ego, Michigan State volleyball player Dana Cooke, perhaps the only Dana Cooke more internationally renowned than myself. Then look what I found in my e-mail one day:

From: "Dana Cooke" <>
Dear Mr. Cooke,
I am the #2 cooke on your list and have been aware of your website since last fall when one of my players notified me of it. Let me tell you it was quite amazing to see so many of us around! . . . I also have a full time job as a director of a graphic design department for a digital imaging company. Not too much free time you can imagine. Take care and good job on the site. Hope you find all you are looking for!
Dana Cooke #2
Because the Queen of the Other Danas had already been haunting my website for many years, she'd achieved mythic status. In fact, I'd long ago forgotten that she might be an actual human being. So imagine my surprise and delight. God Bless the Dana Cooke Project! She later e-mailed to request her free CD. Some weeks hence, I contacted her and got my review: "My sister and I listened to it in her new car and we thought it was chok full-o hilarity and good tunage." Coming from the Queen, that means something!

Update: I got an e-mail of a fan of the Queen of the Other Danas. This means the Dana Cooke Project now officially has "buzz." The message went like this; I couldn't resist a running commentary:

Here, here to your website. It is a little weird I must admit [only a little?] but nonetheless I checked it out after being told of it from my friend D Cooke (your #2) the volleyball player. So yes she does exist and she rocks. [Party on, dude!]. She is truly one of the most fun and wonderful people I know. . . .You should be happy she wrote to you because Dana doesn't exactly respond to just anyone. [Do I not seem happy?] And she may downplay this but she is not just a volleyball player but one of the best your country offers. [I've noticed Canadians love to pretend they live in a separate country!] She was an All-American at Michigan State, she broke all kinds of records and even has a banner hanging in the gym in her honor. [Hey, how do you know it's not a banner in my honor?] She also at one point was considering playing for the Canadian National team. Just an FYI. Let me know if I can help you in any other way.
Beth Klatt

Update: I got an e-mail of a brother of the Queen of the Other Danas. This is like a cult!

I'm Adam Cooke, Dana Cooke #2's brother. . . . I have to give you an update for my younger sister, mostly because I'm a proud big brother, but also because it's pretty cool. At the tender age of 32, Dana #2 answered an open tryout for the Canadian beach volleyball women's team. (Insert Canada joke here.) Surprisingly she was asked by Canada's top female player to be her new partner for the oncoming pro season and to try to qualify for the 2008 Beijing olympics. So, now you're in the know. There could be a Dana Cooke competing for an olympic medal....

Of course, you're forgetting that I probably would have won an Olympic medal if it weren't for the 1980 boycott. Oh, and hey, I insert Canadian jokes where I want to. Not where you tell me to, Bub.

May '07 Update: Put on some clothes! The Queen of the Other Danas now dabbles in beach volleyball -- which, where I come from, is viewed in the same light as massage and pillow fights. Anyway, if you've ever wondered what I'd look like as a well-toned 30ish women in something akin to a bikini, leaping and diving as if trying to avoid blackflies, here's your chance.

April '08 Updates: The Queen has her own website and her own Facebook page. Also, here's something weird: there was a 2004 edition of the Michigan State University volleyball booster-club newsletter (PDF) with an article about this page . . . about the Dana Cooke Project. Holy freakin' moley! And also, strangely Dana, when not playing volleyball, designs jewelry packaging; read about it here.

Dana Cooke #3
The lawyer for Pearl Jam

Okay, admittedly that's pretty famous, too. But this Dana Cooke is less heard from since the mosh pit and Ticketmaster stinks died down. No links currently found.

Dana Cooke #4
The dog enthusiast in Canada

Dan & Dana Cooke (how's that for a marriage?) are labrador breeders in Ontario. She's listed here.

Dana Cooke #5
The golfer

Wow. I'd rather be Dana Cooke the golfer and he can Dana Cooke the singer-songwriter! (Link lost.)

Dana Cooke #6
The talented Junior Beta

The results are getting more and more obscure. A Dana Cooke in Gretna Middle School in Virginia took fifth place in the talent contest in the junior division at the national conference of the Beta Club, which is some sort of honorary for students, I guess. Geesh. Link for more info.

Dana Cooke #7

This Dana Cooke found me! The first time this ever happened. Proof undeniable that The Dana Cooke Project is now a worldwide movement, more than one man's mission but a zeitgeist, oozing up from the collective consciousness of a downtrodden people. (Too damned bad she's another woman!) Here's the full text of her e-mail to me:

Subject: One More!
From: "Doug & Dana Cooke"
I am Dana Cooke, an elementary school teacher/Mom, in Oak Harbor, Washington. I married into the name and I'm very proud of it! My husband and I have a running joke in our family to fill in our middle names. I have been Dana "Doesn't" Cooke for the last seven years.
I'm so glad I found your website...I just happened to punch in my name on a search engine and found it. It put a smile on my face knowing there are more of me out there!!

Update: Got this e-mail: "Hey, Dana, Just in case you find leads to a Dana Cooke in Slidell, Louisiana, or see a Dana Cooke on one of those Girls Gone Wild During Mardi Gras videos, I just wanted to let you know it's probably me. The Navy tends to move us around every two or three here we are!"

Another update: "The Navy has moved us again. This time to Raleigh, NC. The new email address is Keep up the good work...I love to check the site every so often."

. . . remind me to never join the Navy.

Dana Cooke #8
Another "contact"

This one I found in a search, though all I found was an e-mail address, so I got pushy and sent a message. The response: "Dana Cooke here. Male." Well, I guess that's all I really needed. (By the way, he's at, at a company called TCPL/International Courier/Invoicing Admin., TransCanada International C/O Aramark). Update: There's a lot more detail at this pen pal site. Update: If you search through this PDF of a company newsletter, you'll eventually discover that Dana won some contest or some crap like that; I can't figger it out.

DC10 Dana Cooke #9
A Canadian artist

I'm pretty sure this is a new one, although we're getting quite a few piled up in Canada. According to the webpage, "Although there was a brief time when Dana Cooke worked in acrylics, pencil and ink have always been prevalent mediums in the pieces the Winnipeg-born artist creates." (Link lost.)

Dana Cooke #10
Sweet Charlie's Dana-Girl!

I'd found this one on my own, in a company newsletter article about her organizing the annual Girl Scout event at the mall. But then she came forward on her own, and we learned that she'd married into the name 35 years ago, and liked it so much that she stuck with it. I'm sure, with the trials of the passing years, their marriage was tested, divorce rearing its ugly head innumerable times, And yet, each time Dana realized that, with their separation, she might have to give Sweet Charlie's surname back, too. And this disappointment she could not abide. So, there you have it, Dana Cooke is a sure elixir for a long and lasting union.

Subject: Another Dana Cooke
From: Chuck and Dana Cooke <>

I just came across your Dana Cooke Project and I think it is very clever. I have been Dana Cooke for 35 years now, having married into the name, and I have been very happy with it and my sweet Charlie. So notch another one on the female column on the gender scoreboard. Funny, growing up, the only other Dana's I knew (or knew of, like the actor Dana Andrews), were male-and now it seems 2:1 female.
Best wishes to you and all the other Dana Cooke's out there. Not being distinguished, accomplished or in any way (internationally or locally) renowned, I remain
Dana Cooke

Would you believe it if I told you that I was named after Dana Andrews, and my mother didn't even realize there were girls named Dana until she took me to the doctor's office at age 4 or so, and there was a female infant patient there with the name? Would you believe that my mother and I laughed and pitied the girl for facing a life with a boy's name? Fate has paid me back for that presumption many times over.

By the way, we learned in subsequent e-mails that Charlie's Dana lives in Columbia, Maryland; raised three kids; and no longer works for the company linked above. In fact, it looks now that she works for this company instead.

Dana Cooke #11
The girls' basketball coach

Gee, I'm starting to feel inadequate as a non-athlete. We're heavy in that area. Anyway, this is Dana Cooke-Weaver (which we'll forgive). Given the hyphenated name, and the fact that it coaches girls basketball, I'm assigning this one to the female tally. Later I found a link demonstrating that she's also a teach (though both links are now gone).

Dana Cooke #12
The mysterious, but quaint, self-identified child

Another e-mail out of the blue:

From: "John Morris" <>
hello! i'm also dana cooke! i'm in grade 8. i don't have an e-mail yet but when i get one i'll let you know! thanx! bye!
dana cooke

I especially love the signature. Has a ring to it. I believe it doesn't get any cuter than this.

Dana Cooke #13
Self-Identified from Down Under!

Again some one found this site in a search. This one is a man. Plus, for whatever it's worth, this is the first international one. (Well, not counting Canada, "the 51st state.") This one lives in Australia. I'm gonna skip all the "G'day mate" and "shrimp on the barbie" stuff. Here's the full text of his e-mail to me:

Subject: Add another Dana to your lists
From: "Dana Cooke" <>

My name is Dana Cooke...
I am an 18 year old male, living in Adelaide, Australia. I have also lived in Texas, Alaska, Colorado, and Indonesia! Found your site on Yahoo. I too once worried about my genderless name, but I have since made peace with it after meeting a man named Pink, who was by no means the sissy which his name suggests. I wholeheartedly support your cause and will be back to check up on it.
Dana Cooke

It remains a thrill to download my e-mail and find a new Dana Cooke in the From column. (Coming next: the worldwide Guys Named Pink Project.)

Update: Dana replied to an e-mail query in April 2008 to confirm that he is also the Australia Dana Cooke available at this address: Maxwell is his middle name, which he uses in business e-mail to avoid getting "Dear Ms. Cooke" salutations. (Come on! The rest of us deal with it, and so can you! And, by the way, Maxwell is the name of Dana #1's son, so coincidences abound.) He further alerted us that he's the designer listed at (I had previously discovered his designs this site; plus, he has his own site here.) Oh, and he claimed his free CD, which is on its way. Does the Post Office go to Australia?

Dana Cooke #14
Self-identified: Yet another teacher

At one point, on the Eastern Connecticut State University site, there was a page of yo-yo links that claimed to be by a Dana Cooke; later, I noticed a Dana Cooke who got hired as a new teacher at a school in Connecticut, and I wondered, Could this be our ECSU yo-yo enthusiast? But I could never confirm any of this. Now the mystery solved!

Subject: I am a male
From: Dana Cooke <>
I am a math teacher at Griswold High in Griswold CT. I am also a wrestling coach and volleyball coach here. So hey, if Dana the volleyball player from Michigan would like to stop in during the fall for a clinic, great. [Update: he's since given up volleyball.] To verify my name, I am a Killingly High graduate from 1990, and an Eastern CT State U. graduate of 2000. My lineage does not support the e ending, but my birth certificate does. My grandfather started using the e saying it was a name with the e and a profession without. My father has always used the e but does not have it on his birth certificate, my three brothers and I do though, and proud of it. Like my name enough to have passed it on to one of my daughters, (since that's all I have, three to
be exact). Her name though is Payton Dana Cooke.

Then, in a follow-up, "Yes, I can verify that I once had a yo-yo page designed for a computers class." So there! Both mysteries solved, with the added advantage of maleness. And, is it me, or is there something delicious about passing the name onto a daughter, but only as a middle name? Perhaps I read too much into this? [In April 2006, we learned he was up to four daughters! If he could manage one son, we could add a male Dana Jr. to the ranks and help even the score.] Update: A pair of press reports on his wrestling avocation: number one and number two.

Dana Cooke #15
The local fan

Long ago, I had gotten an email from a Dana Cooke--a teenaged girl--who claimed to live right here in Camillus. But I lost that e-mail and many moons passed. Then, just the other day, Joe Cleveland (the His Band Joe guy), who is a college teacher by day, was starting out the semester and one of his students proved to be named Dana Cooke. Freaked him out!

Anyway, it's her. Same girl. She really did exist (and apparently still does). Here's the proof — an e-mail she sent me after Joe hipped her to the Cosmic Mindtrip which is Two Dana Cookes right here in Greater Syracuse.

Hey Dana! I finally got around to emailing you. My teacher is Joe Cleveland up at OCC. I couldn't believe it when he told me that you two are good buddies! What a small world! I am 18 now going on 19 next Sunday, so it's been awhile since I last emailed you. I live in LaFayette, just south of Syracuse but my dad lives right in Camillus. I wonder if I've ever seen you and didn't realize who it was?! That's pretty cool that you've received emails worldwide. I wonder if any of us are related? My surname originated from Ireland with my great grandfather.
-- Dana Cooke

Dana Cooke #16
The Sturdivant comes home!

This one was lost, or at least in doubt. At some point, I'd found a Dana Cooke who graduated from Biloxi High in 1992 and then married some guy named Sturdivant, wantonly abandoning the name God gave her. Unfortunately, the link to Biloxi High later disappeared, and I could find no other evidence of this traitor. So, another Fringe and Fading Dana was born.

Lo and behold, just the other day this shows up:
This is too neat! I have been informed that I was on this webpage.
I am Dana Cooke Sturdivant. Here is a picture of me and my baby                    
can you please post it beside my name. I love this project it's so neat.
I am an Account Executive for an office furniture company and live
in Mississippi. Just had our first baby November 21, 2003. Just                    
turned 30 March 5th it's been an exciting year! Keep up the project...
Too Cool! Thanks, 
Dana Cooke Sturdivant

I think, Dana, that the excitement is all mine. Although I can't imagine the infant bodes well for your inevitable divorce. (Note: It is the official policy of the Dana Cooke Project to encourage all married women to discontinue their matrimony immediately and return to their Blessed Maiden Name. This is callous, but necessary.)

Now, about that new office chair: This one looks nice, don't you think?

Dana Cooke #17
The Iowa baseball coach!

I gotta admit: This one is still a little shaky. I discovered reference to a Little League coach on a page that's since been replaced. The team went 24-4 that year. Go Panthers!

Years ago, I found a Dana Cooke who runs a basketball tournament in Iowa, whom I connected (in my mind) to a Dana Cooke who raised some money for Northern Iowa University athletics. (Both those links have since died.) That's still not a lot to go on, but it's a preponderence, I've decided. Anyone in Iowa help me out here? Do you suppose this was also the casketbearer at a funeral in Iowa in 1985?

Update: Then I found a reference to a male tennis player at Northern Iowa University in 1971 in this records listing (PDF). Screw it. That's a lot of clues in Iowa. This guy must exist!

Dana Cooke #18
The horse jumper!

For years I'd found occasional references to a Dana Cooke who rides and jumps horses. (Poor horse!) And this was in addition to finding a horse named Dana Cooke! Anywho, I kept it in the doubtful/unsubstantiated column until, finally, I got this e-mail from Dana's mom:

Regarding the rider in Canada. Go to and under sponsorships you will find her bio. She does exist.
-- Marcia (Dana's mom)

Since Mom alerts us that "she" (Dana) does exist, I'm gonna conclude that Dana is a girl. Mom would know. Also, now that we have yet another Canadian here. This is getting as freaky as maple syrup in your Labatt. Anyway, thanks Mom for clearing up the mystery. Update: This is almost certainly also the Dana Cooke referenced here.

Dana Cooke #19
The pharmaceutical executive

. . . At least it's not another teacher. I had found info at one of those alumni classnote sites at a school in North Carolina (this link here) and so I dashed off e-mails to the teacher who runs this site, and to the company this Dana might work for. And, damn, if she didn't write back the very next day:

Hey there, I received your email from one of my high school teachers.  I am indeed Dana Cooke . . . now married Dana Cooke Edge.  I'm assuming you would like information about me for your Dana Cooke website.  As you can see from my signature block below.  Nothing too exciting.  I'm in HR at a Pharmaceutical company in NC.  I married a minor league baseball player and we have two children.  I went to UNC Chapel Hill and hopefully next week they will win their 5th basketball championship!  Anything else in particular that you would like to know?

--Dana Edge, PHR
Sr. Manager, Human Resources, King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Scientific Operations

Well, no, I'd say that after that shameless plug for the Tarheels we probably already know too much. Say hi to your hunky minor league baseball playing hubby for us, though; me and the rest of the girls can't stop thinking about it.

Fringe and Fading

Dana Cooke
The Project Manager at P.M. Mackay Group

The link is down! Last I knew, this guy worked for P.M. Mackay Group, which is a big construction outfit. But they changed their website, and lost the cute staff pictures. Now what do I do?

DC4Dana Cooke No More
Divorce robbed her of the name God intended!

She was on my list from the early days, but I couldn't say much about her. She popped up here. There was a review at However, then I receive this email from

My fiance found your site by doing a Google search for my name. We were both amused and thought it was great. I am the English Teacher from Georgia AND the owner of the site on the Diana Gabaldon webring {which isn't Gothic and isn't crap ;-)} The Yahoo e-mail address is correct, but the other is for my ex, who gave me my name. Sadly, it appears I will be leaving the ranks when I get married. Don't think the fiance would like me to keep the ex's name. But think of me always as an honorary Dana Cooke, even after I become officially Dana Huff.

Dana Cooke #6
It turns out this was also the Dana Cooke whom I'd listed under "Leads" as someone who maintained a "page in a webring devoted to some author of Celtic-Gothic novels or some crap." Man, am I embarrassed! Anyway, she ain't Dana Cooke anymore, and I finally decided to demote her. Sorry. BTW, if you want to comiserate, she's now at

Strange Cases

The Horse

For a while, I'd lost corroborating evidence and couldn't trust my memory, but again I've found evidence of a horse bearing the blessed moniker. See here. And this time, I'm a stallion! I was married to Taggie Mae. She was a sweet filly!

The Fictional Super Model

Some time ago, I found some geek's online short story with a character named Dana Cooke; that eventually disappeared. But now there are two stories at Quizilla with a character named Dana Cooke, and a super model no less. Um. Gee. Like. I don't even know what to think. I suppose if I actually read the stories I might know what to think. But a friend of mine who knows what Quizilla stories are usually like told me not to bother. That seems like advice I know how to follow. Anyway, maybe you want to read them and tell me what's going on here: story #1 and story #2.

The E-Less Child

Throughout my life, I have taken the rather rigid stance that, without the E, a Cooke may as well be Kowalski. I have to admit, though, that this sweet e-mail tested my resolve:

Hi I'm Dana.
I'm 6 and in the first grade at Calvary Lutheran School in Silver Spring, I'm a boy. I like to play Playstation. I like to invite my friends over to my house. My best friends are Danny, Jamie, Conor, Tarik, and Carson.
Here is a picture of me and my sister, Maddie. She's 11.
From, Dana Cook.

Little Dana CookWhat do you think? Should I let him in? Me, I tend to lean toward pedantic, unyielding stances. My life is littered with them. After all, we can't start bending sacred rules just 'cuz someone happens to be under the age of ten. Let this be a hard but valuable lesson to ye, child: No! No to you E-less Cookes! Let a judge change that name if you hope to join us, the Blessed E's. Until then, slink back to the land of Jones and Smiths from whence you came.

Anyway, I could be convinced otherwise.

Another E-Less
. . . but with special circumstances

Back in 1994, before the Dana Cooke Project existed, even before the Queen of the Other Danas was found, I worked producing publications for a teaching hospital in Syracuse. By means now lost to me, I learned that, within the almost mythic community of Former English Majors Who Now Toil for Teaching Hospitals Producing Publications That By-And-Large Go Unread, was another Dana Cooke. Oh, but not a Dana Cooke; rather, a Dana Cook. Way back then, I was content with homophones. So she and I exchanged e-mail and imagined ourselves amused by this coincidence.

Since then, of course, I've raised my standards. In the current culture, homophone equals blasphemy. Still, I'll admit I was almost moved when, just the other day, she tracked me down again, all these years later:

Dear Dana,
My friend Dan Hurley recently sent me the URL for your Dana Cooke Project site -- you certainly have gone slick since we exchanged a bit of correspondence about our names...what...was it now15 years or so ago?!
I'm curious to know whether that exchange was your first contact with another Dana Cook(e) -- albeit one without the "e" and with a marital modification to her name.
But in any case, if you feel those transgressions (the "e" and the addition of a marital modifier, as well as the fact that I'd be an addition to the "female" side of the gender scoreboard) are outweighed by having a #19 listing for your site, I'd be honored to be include in TDCP.
Hope all's well with you.
Best regards,
Dana Cook Grossman

Oh, I'm sure #20 would feel pretty good right about now! But my Mama didn't raise me to overlook transgressions, sister.

So, while this Dana Cook -- this e-less, married-name, and female Dana Cook -- holds a special place in my heart as (in some senses) the first Other Dana ever, the Dana Cooke Project is no place for sugary sentiment. I relegate thee to "Strange Cases," and reserve #20 for someone truly deserving. Court dismissed!

The E-less and A-less Comedian

This is hardly worth mentioning . . . There's that comedian named Dane Cook. He's on MTV all the time now. I've still never seen him. I'm told he sucks.

Another Desperate Pretender!

This person contacted me to say that her name really used to have an E on the end, but her father dropped it. And she claimed that her name is really Dana, even though her e-mail address suggests otherwise.

Hello. Just another Dana Cook here – female that is, hailing from Simi Valley, CA. Feel free to write: (spelled that way just for email). . . . I was originally Dana Cooke but my father dropped the e back in ’61 (don’t know why) – I am a real estate investor & jewelry designer.

Come on, people! We got standards here. We can't be admitting every Buddy Hackett and Tom Cruise who claims they used to be Dana Cooke! (Well, maybe them, since they're at least men!) Contact me again when you've got court documents to back it up.

Other Leads

There must be a few more Dana Cookes to be culled from this threadbare evidence, but I can't confirm or link them up . . .

  • Another hot lead: The staff member at this diving excursion company almost certainly matches none of the others on the list, but I'm waiting for confirmation from the horse's mouth.
  • Not sure about this one: apparently a student who's working on her school yearbook in Canada. Yet another Canadian?! Or a duplicate of one above? I can't make a link.
  • At Temple, there was an on-line resume. Now it's gone.
  • According to a church newsletter in Delaware, someone named Dana Cooke has a birthday in February. Alert: this is one of those dreaded PDF links.
  • Here's a Dana Cooke who designed a product featured on a website that apparently direct-markets products that you yourself designed. No saying whether this is one of my other Dana Cookes.

. . . God, this is maddening.





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