Dean Robbins

Dean Robbins

Dean Robbins is a journalist and author based in Madison. He has won state and national awards for arts, features and news stories, and has contributed to magazines and newspapers around the country.

Stories from Dean Robbins

June 16, 2017

Jazz legend Joan Wildman doesn’t perform much anymore. But she’s made indelible mark on the students she taught at UW-Madison and the people who've heard her perform, like Dean Robbins, who tells us about this remarkable artist.

April 19, 2017

Space travel entranced Dean Robbins as a kid. He idolized astronauts and closely followed the Gemini and Apollo missions. But despite his devotion, there was one thing he didn’t know about one of his space heroes.

October 14, 2016

President Theodore Roosevelt was on his way to a campaign rally in Milwaukee when he was shot at close range by a would-be assassin. Dean Robbins tells us what happened on that October day.

July 8, 2016

We all hope to be remembered for our successes rather than our mistakes. Watertown’s Fred Merkle played on six World Series teams but was remembered not for his admirable career but for one early mistake. Dean Robbins tells us Merkle’s story.

December 14, 2015

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away from Hollywood, future movie star Harrison Ford was coming of age in Wisconsin. He went to college here, discovered his love of performing, and got his first professional acting job.

November 27, 2015

I’ve always imagined Wisconsin in the 1950s as an extraordinarily innocent place. What other conclusion can I draw after hearing the Chordettes?

June 11, 2015

Wisconsin isn’t the jazz capital of the world, but we do have one thing New York City doesn’t have. He’s Richard Davis, bass player extraordinaire.

April 23, 2015

People don’t associate Orson Welles with Wisconsin. Even biographers gloss over the fact that the brilliant theater, radio, and film artist was born in Kenosha and schooled in Madison.

March 30, 2015

After growing up in St. Louis, I wanted to settle down somewhere smaller. I liked Midwestern college towns, so I narrowed the choices to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Madison, Wisconsin.

June 6, 2014

Les Paul was a musical legend whose pioneering work made the sound of rock and roll possible. In honor of his June 9th birthday, Dean Robbins tells us the story.