|FRANK OWEN GEHRY (1929-)
Frank Gehry was born Ephraim Owen Goldberg in Toronto, Canada. He moved with his family to Los Angeles as a teenager in 1947 and later became a naturalized U.S. citizen. His father changed the family’s name to Gehry when the family immigrated. Ephraim adopted the first name Frank in his 20s.
Uncertain of career direction, the teenage Gehry drove a delivery truck to support himself while taking a variety of courses at Los Angeles City College. He took his first architecture courses and became enthralled with the possibilities of the art, although at first he found himself hampered by his relative lack of skill as a draftsman. Sympathetic teachers and an early encounter with Modernist architect Raphael Soriano confirmed his career choice. He won scholarships to the University of Southern California and graduated in 1954 with a degree in architecture.
Gehry went to work full-time for the notable Los Angeles firm of Victor Gruen Associates, where he had apprenticed as a student, but his work at Gruen was soon interrupted by ca year in the United States Army. Gehry then entered the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he studied city planning but returned to Los Angeles without completing a graduate degree. He briefly joined the firm of Pereira and Luckman before returning to Victor Gruen. Gehry got restless. He took his wife and two children to Paris, where he spent a year working in the office of the French architect Andre Remondet and studied firsthand the work of the pioneer Modernist Le Corbusier.