Collage of historic photos.

Historical Figures in Wisconsin

Learn about the lives of your favorite Wisconsin historical figures, from the famous to infamous, and their contributions to our state's history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on historical figures in Wisconsin.

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Read a short biography about this U.S. Senator famous for his penny-pinching attitude toward government spending and his courage in taking unpopular stands

Historical Essay

Nelson, Gaylord, 1916-2005

Founder of Earth Day

This Wisconsin Senator, best known as the founder of Earth Day, championed the preservation of the environment and natural resources.

Historical Essay

Stevens, Brooks, 1911-1995

Industrial Designer

Learn more about this Milwaukeean whose life's work greatly influenced the field of industrial design and the art of salesmanship.

Historical Essay

Edwin Witte, 1887-1960

Father of the Social Security Act

Learn about this Wisconsin-born economist and his active role in the development of the Social Security Act.

This Milwaukee born woman successfully advocated for progressive reforms in the educational system and was influential in the Milwaukee socialist movement.

Historical Essay

Chapelle, Dickey, 1919-1965

Female War Correspondent

Read about the Wisconsin born photojournalist who was one of the first female war correspondents. This article contains a link containing her photography.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Helped Draft the Wisconsin Constitution

Wisconsin Civil War Officer, Lawyer, Politician, 6th Wisconsin Governor, Presidential Cabinet Member

Brief biography of lawyer, judge and politician Alexander W. Randall, who served as the sixth Governor of Wisconsin from 1858 until 1861.

Wisconsin Civil War Officer

Read about this ardent abolitionist who rose from company captain to brigadier general.

Historical Essay

Meir, Golda (1898-1978)

Israel's First Female Prime Minister

Learn about the life of Israel's first female prime minster, her role in the Zionist movement, and her early years living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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