If you enjoy fun facts and learning about some famous people that got their start growing up in our area, this page is for you. Learn about some fast facts about our community and more fun facts below.
- In 2012 the Gibson Guitar Company selected Waukesha for its eighth worldwide GuitarTown designation to honor the birth and final resting place of guitar legend Les Paul. The community art display features artist-decorated 10-foot fiberglass sculptures and playable size Gibson Les Paul model guitars. Other designated cities include Los Angeles, Cleveland, Miami, Orlando, Austin, Nashville and London.
- In 2022, Waukesha ranked twelfth in the best places to live in the U.S. – Livability
- In 2015, Waukesha ranked eighth on the list of America’s 50 Best Cities to Live – 24/7 Wall Street
- In 2012, Waukesha ranked ninety-eighth on the list of 100 Best Places to Live – Money Magazine
- Waukesha was named a Preserve America city by former First Lady, Laura Bush
- Waukesha is the seventh largest city in Wisconsin with over 70,000 residents
Learn more fun facts in the boxes below.
Waukesha was home to Les Paul
Les Paul invented the solid-body electric guitar, the first 8-track tape recorder and many other inventions. A Grammy award-winning artist, Les Paul received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, was inducted into the Hollywood RockWalk of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the N.J. Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
J.J. Watt is a native of Pewaukee
Since being drafted in 2011 as a NFL defensive lineman, Pewaukee native J.J. Watt has had the most solo tackles, sacks and forced fumbles than any other lineman in the league.
Olympic speedskater Mitch Whitmore grew up in Waukesha
Mitch Whitmore, Olympic long track speedskater grew up in Waukesha. He is participating in the 2018 Olympics in the 500 and 1,000-meter speedskating events in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Frank Caliendo was raised in Waukesha
Frank Caliendo, well known for his countless uncanny voice and physical impersonations, his live stand-up comedy act, a previous cast member of MADtv and Frank TV, was raised in Waukesha.
The BoDeans formed in Waukesha
The BoDeans rock band, known for their biggest pop hit "Closer to Free", which was selected as the theme song to the TV series "Party of Five" and later the opening song for the movie :Heavyweights", was formed in Waukesha.
The Aitken Brothers grew up in Waukesha
The heyday of silent movies was thanks, in large part, to the efforts of Waukesha film-producing natives, the Aitken Brothers. The milestone "Birth of a Nation", the very first feature-length (silent) motion picture, was produced by the Aitken Brothers.
Alfred Lundt attended Carroll College
Alfred Lundt attended Carroll College and went on to become half of one of the greatest acting partnerships in American theatre, with wife Lynn Fontanne.
Jiffy Jell was produced in Waukesha
In 1916, the Waukesha Pure Food Company began production of Jiffy Jell, the predecessor of today’s Jell-O.
Gwen Jorgensen got her start in Waukesha
Gwen Jorgensen, a competitive triathlete who won the USA’s first-ever Olympic gold medal in 2016, grew up in Waukesha
Screenwriter David Koepp grew up in Pewaukee
David Koepp of Pewaukee has worked as a screenplay writer on many Hollywood blockbuster films, including "Mission Impossible," "Jurassic Park," "Spider-Man," "Panic Room," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Angels & Demons". His most recent film was "Premium Rush" and he is currently working with Steven Spielberg on "Indiana Jones 5".
Pewaukee Lake is the largest lake in Waukesha County
Pewaukee Lake – the largest of 77 lakes in Waukesha County – offers the best musky fishing in southeastern Wisconsin.
The Hamm brothers hale from Waukesha
The talented Hamm brothers, Olympic gymnastic medalists hale from Waukesha. Paul Hamm is a World Champion gymnast and three-time Olympic medalist; he won the all-around competition at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Morgan Hamm competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, where he won silver in the team competition.
Actor Fred MacMurray attended Carroll College
Fred MacMurray attended Carroll College before becoming an actor most famously known for playing Steve Douglas on the hit TV series "My Three Sons".