Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin on June 8, 1867. His parents, William Cary Wright and Anna Lloyd-Jones, originally named him Frank Lincoln Wright, which he later changed after they divorced. When he was twelve years old, Wright's family settled in Madison, Wisconsin where he attended Madison High School. During summers spent on his Uncle James Lloyd Jones' farm in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Wright first began to realize his dream of becoming an architect. In 1885, he left Madison without finishing high school to work for Allan Conover, the Dean of the University of Wisconsin's Engineering department. While at the University, Wright spent two semesters studying civil engineering before moving to Chicago in 1887.
In 1909, after eighteen years in Oak Park, Wright left his home to move to Germany with a woman named Mamah Borthwick Cheney. When they returned in 1911, they moved to Spring Green, Wisconsin where his mother had given him a portion of his ancestors' land; it was the same farm where he had spent much time as a young boy. In Spring Green he constructed Taliesin. They lived there until 1914 when tragedy struck. An insane servant tragically murdered Cheney and six others, then set fire to Taliesin. Many people thought this horrific event would be the end of Wright's career. He proved them wrong however, with his decision to rebuild Taliesin.
In 1932, Wright opened Taliesin up as an architectural fellowship where young students could pay to work with and learn from him. Thirty apprentices came to live with him at Taliesin. Through the Taliesin Fellowship, Wright created masterpieces such as Fallingwater (the Kaufmann House) in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, and the SC Johnson and Son Wax Company Administration Center in Racine, Wisconsin. During this time, he married and separated from Miriam Noel and met his third wife, Olivanna Milanoff. The two lived happily at Taliesin for five years and raised a child there. As the couple grew older, the Wisconsin winters became too much for them. In 1937, Wright moved his family and fellowship to Phoenix, Arizona where he built Taliesin West and spent the last twenty years of his life.
On April 9, 1959 at age ninety-two, Wright died at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. By the time of his death, he had become internationally recognized for his innovative building style and contemporary designs. He had created 1,141 designs, of which 532 were completed. His name had become synonymous with great design, not only because of the form of his designs, but also because of the function. In the end, he showed not just what to live in, but more importantly he influenced the very nature of how we lived.