- The last-century popularity of the given name is due to the American actor Gary Cooper (1901–1961), whose stage name was invented by his agent, a native of Gary, Indiana.
- A patronymic surname.
- A city in Indiana, and other US places named for persons with the surname Gary.
- A city in South Dakota
- A male given name, popular from the 1940s to the 1970s.
- 1957 Meredith Willson: The Music Man: Gary, Indiana (a song):
- Gary, Indiana!
- What a wonderful name!
- Named for Elbert Gary of judiciary fame.
- Gary, Indiana, as Shakespeare would say,
- Trips along softly on the tongue this way
- 1964 Anne Tyler: If Morning Ever Comes. Severn House 1983. page 52:
- "Gary's an awful name. Whatever he's like. It reminds me of a G.I. man with a crew cut, and 'Mom' tattooed on his chest, and lots of pin-up pictures on his wall."