Mercedes was the daughter of a German businessman, Emil Jellinek.
Jellinek created the Mercedes trademark in 1902, naming it in honour of his daughter, Mercédès Jellinek.
Emil Jellinek, known after 1903 as Emil Jellinek-Mercedes (6 April 1853 – 21 January 1918) was a wealthy European automobile entrepreneur with Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG), responsible in 1900 for commissioning the first modern automobile.
The trademark developed into Mercedes-Benz, and the marque became one of the largest car brands in the world.
One of his ventures was selling cars, and when he discovered Daimler and Maybach car, the Phoenix, he worked up a brisk business and an even larger fortune selling them.
Details on how the DMG Phoenix became a Mercedes are hazy, but Jellinek’s inclination to name things after his daughter – like his yacht and all of his homes – would eventually work its way around to the cars he sold, raced and drove.
In fact, Emil so enjoyed the Mercedes name and good fortune he believed it brought that the entire family clan’s name was changed to Jellinek-Mercedes when Mercedes was 13.
Yet a name wasn’t the only contribution Jellinek made, pressing Daimler and Maybach to build racing cars even before the turn of the 20th century, saying, “Victories make you world-famous. People buy the winning brand, and always will. It would be commercial suicide to stay away from racing.”