Saginaw, Michigan is home to the Saginaw Spirit OHL hockey team and the Castle Museum. As a community, Saginaw currently struggles to overcome an impoverished economy, a racial divide, and a crime rate three times the national average. Despite the drawbacks to living in or near Saginaw, it is generally a pleasant area with a rich and diverse heritage.
The heritage of Saginaw can be seen and celebrated in these famous Saginaw natives.
Serena Williams, tennis champion: Born to an economically disadvantaged family, Serena Williams’ father ensured that she and her older sister Venus (also a champion in tennis) could utilize sports as a means of escaping poverty. Mr. Williams’ plan worked: with a career prize of over 17 million dollars, Serena Williams has won an Olympic gold medal and has held eight Grand Slam titles. She was also ranked the number one female tennis player in the world.
Stephen Lynch, self-dubbed singing comedian: Divinely inspired by This is Spinal Tap, Stephen Lynch performs quirky and controversial comedic songs. Undoubtedly a talented musician, Lynch grew up in a suburb of Saginaw. Lynch’s music covers topics such as a song from the devil, abortion, and dating a Nazi-all lathered in pure comedy. An Irish-American, Lynch’s parents were formerly a priest and a nun, respectively, which may partially explain his unique view of life.
Theodore Roethke, American poet (1908-1963): Now canonized as an American poet focused on nature, Roethke was the child of a German immigrant and greenhouse proprietor. Roethke’s work describes life in Midwestern America and solidifies the poet as a true pride of his hometown. Roethke taught at Michigan State College (presently Michigan State University) during the middle of his life, and later experienced depression.
Stevie Wonder, master keyboardist, singer-songwriter, activist, record producer: The most famous contemporary Saginaw native, Stevie Wonder can play many instruments. Blind from the time of his birth, the musician received great parenting and equal treatment from his family. Stevie Wonder signed to Motown Records at a young age and stood up to the record company when necessary. Wonder helped secure the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a national holiday and became a hit musician and spokesperson for African-Americans and the blind. Stevie Wonder has had 34 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
These four famous Saginaw natives each took very different paths in their lives, but they all had the drive to succeed. Despite the diversity of the group, all four represented celebrities took the values they learned from their families in Saginaw and launched successful careers.