Eugène Joseph Delporte photographed Amor as it approached Earth to within 16 million kilometers (about 40 times the distance from Earth to the moon); this was the first time that an asteroid was seen to approach Earth so closely. A month later, 1862 Apollo was seen to cross Earth's orbit, and the scientific community suddenly realised the potential threat these flying mountains presented.
Amor is named after the Roman god of love, better known as Cupid. See also 763 Cupido and 433 Eros, which is named after Cupid's Greek counterpart. Coincidentally, 433 Eros, like 1221 Amor, makes close approaches to Earth. It is a Mars-crosser as well.