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9 Amazing People Who Lived In Madison, WI

9 Amazing People Who Lived In Madison, WI

7. Frank Lloyd Wright

Often touted as one of the greatest American architects of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright was born June 8, 1867 in Richland Center, Wisconsin. His family moved to Madison when Wright was 12.

As a particularly curious child, Frank loved the outdoors and discovered an interest in the landscape of his surroundings, particularly the natural beauty of architecture. He graduated from high school and enrolled at The University of Wisconsin (Madison) with the intent to study civil engineering. While in school he worked under the tutelage of the architect Joseph Silsbee.

This led to an interest in architecture and his subsequent decision to drop out of school and work for Silsbee full time. A year later he took an apprenticeship under Louis Sullivan, known as the “Father of skyscrapers.”

Over the years Wright became well known for inventing a new residential look, organic architecture that emphasized an open interior with a single floor design. Wright spent the last sixteen years of his life designing the Guggenheim Museum, New York’s center for modern art. He died six months before his final project opened its doors for the first time.

6. Gabe Carimi

Gabriel Carimi played college football for the Wisconsin Badgers. In his four years as a Badger he had 49 starts at left tackle. As a senior in 2010 he was voted the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year.

In 2011, Carimi joined the NFL draft and was picked in the first round by the Chicago Bears. Two years later he was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and in 2014 he was picked up by the Falcons. Aside from playing football, Carimi also ran track in high school; he seeded 5th in the state in discus as a High School senior.

5. Georgia O’Keefe

Georgia OKeefe photo
Photo by Goosefriend

Georgia O’Keefe was born in 1887 on a farm outside of Madison. Her parents ran a dairy farm, but Georgia’s interests were more creative. She studied at School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1905-1907 and then moved to New York City and studied under William Merritt Chase.

It didn’t take long before her unique energy got her a following. A fateful trip to New Mexico opened her eyes to the desert landscape, and Georgia had found her voice.

Over the many years afterward, she held yearly exhibitions featuring her work. In the 1940s, she was the first woman artist to have a retrospective of her work through the Museum of Modern Art. In 1977, O’Keefe received the Medal of Freedom from then-President Gerald Ford, the highest honor an artist could receive.

4. Gena Rowlands

Virginia “Gena” Rowlands was born on June 19, 1930 in Madison. She attended the University of Wisconsin for a few years before deciding to leave for New York, where she studied drama at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Rowlands continued to act professionally, winning numerous awards over her career, including four Emmys and two Golden Globes. In January 2015 Gena was honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Los Angeles Fim Critics Association. Hardly ten months later she received an Honorary Academy Award at the Governors Awards.

Together Rowlands and her husband have influenced the entertainment industry through their creative risk-taking and natural talent.


Skye McDaniel Travel expert, writer for America Unraveled.


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