The word "vegan" (pronounced 'VEE-gan') originated from a British man named Donald Watson who had wanted an appropriate name to describe what a "100% vegetarian" has always eaten, as distinguished from other types of mixed plant & animal product dietary choices.
He called his newsletter "The Vegan News" and described veganism as "the practice of living on fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, and other wholesome non-animal products."
Excerpt from the first issue of 'The Vegan News' November 1947:
"Without making any claims to self-righteousness, we feel in a strong position to criticise lacto-vegetarianism, because the worst we can say will be but a repetition of criticism we have already levelled against ourselves. Therefore we shall express the Truth as we see it and feel it, and though our friends the lacto-vegetarians may reject our ideas if they wish, we hope they will not reject us for stating them. Watson was born on September 2, 1910 and lived to be 95 years old. He died on November 16, 2005.