According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a Polo Ralph Lauren rep confirmed that "Ralph Lauren" is pronounced with emphasis on the first syllable in Lauren, such as the girl's name "Lauren." People often mistakenly put emphasis on the second syllable in Lauren, pronouncing it "Loh-REN," like Italian actress Sophia Loren.
According to an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Ralph Lauren, originally born Ralph Lifshitz, changed his last name because it featured an undesirable four-letter word, not because he didn't want to be Jewish. When asked why he chose "Lauren," Ralph told Oprah that his cousins living in California had changed their last name to "Lawrence." Ralph Lauren was born Oct. 14, 1939, and is an American fashion designer, business executive and philanthropist.