As a big fan of John Carpenter's classic of urban terror Assault on Precinct 13 I always wondered (together with the rest of the characters) why Napoleon Wilson is called that way. It is made clear that this isn't his real name and he is asked repeatedly about it, just to defer the answer with a simple
I'll tell you some time.
Now of course I understand that this might be a delibrate mystery that adds much to the fascination of his character and that there is most probably no in-universe answer by-design.
Yet the even more interesting question would be for the out-of-universe reasons for this unusual name (i.e. what drove Carpenter to call him this way) and if this was inspired by anything or a reference to anything (apart from Napoleon Bonaparte, of course). Knowing that the movie and Carpenter himself was to a large degree influenced by Rio Bravo and Howard Hawks in general (like the other recurring theme of Wilson repeatedly asking for a "smoke", as Wikipedia says), this might be the first place to look for. Yet, not having much knowledge about the works of Howard Hawks, this doesn't help me that much either.
So is there any information what inspired the name of Napoleon Wilson or was it just an arbitrary random decision?