From the experts:
Ulysses is one of the few U boys' names anyone knows -- with heavy links to the Homeric hero, eighteenth president Grant, and the James Joyce novel -- all of which makes it both distinguished and kind of weighty for a modern boy. Ulysses was on the US popularity list well into the twenty-first century; it's off now, but Number 684 on Nameberry.
Former SNLer Anna Gasteyer made this bold choice for her son, perhaps inspiring others to follow her lead. George Clooney's character name in the Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is Ulysses.
Trivia tidbit: The presidential bearer was christened Hiram Ulysses Grant, but reputedly was all too happy when his first two names were reversed at West Point, as he had always been embarrassed by having the initials HUG.