Hurricanes have been given names since the early 1900s, when an Australian weatherman would give names to the storms he tracked to help keep them apart. He enjoyed naming them after politicians he didn't like, so that he could then talk about the destruction that they caused.
When the US Army got heavily into weather forecasting during World War II, workers there would start to nickname the storm systems after their wives or girlfriends, to give them their 15 minutes of fame. Soon they began to start with A and move through the letters, to make tracking the systems easier. By 1953 this was standard for the US Weather Bureau. In 1970 the National Weather Service had this responsibility, and moved to include men's names as well.
Names are chosen for 6 years in a row, and then cycle around to the first set of names again. If a storm is truly memorable, that name is retired and a new one chosen to take its place.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Naming a Hurricane
Learn More about Hurricanes
Categories of Hurricanes