Maxine and Eleanor Aaron: Three
generations set standards of excellence as presidents of the Pittsburgh
Board of Education, (respectively) a member of the first appointed
15-member board, first woman president and a prime mover of desegregation.
of United Steelworkers of America (1965-77), best known for negotiating
a 1973 contract (the first and, probably, only one of its kind)
outlawing both strikes and walkouts in the industry. The rank-and-file
members did not vote on it. Under Abel, the union also built its
current headquarters in Gateway Center (1973) and bought Linden
Hall, a 785-acre country estate/country club, near Dawson, Fayette
County, for a training/recreation center for the union.
Murray Abraham: Versatile
and Oscar recipient for his performance as the cunning, scheming
composer/competitor Antonio Salieri in the heavily awarded "Amadeus,"
voted 1984's Best Film of the Year by the MPAA. One of 14 children
born here to a Syrian immigrant and his Pittsburgh-native wife.
M. Adovasio: As principal investigator of the Meadowcroft
Rockshelter in Washington County, he excavated the archaeologically
pivotal Meadowcroft site (1973-78), possibly the oldest dated and
longest continual human use of a particular site in the New World.
Radiocarbon dates for the earliest human occupation levels are 12,000
B.C. and may be as far as 17,000 B.C. Dr. Adovasio's continued excavation
in 1994 yielded the oldest flint spearpoint in North America and
the largest collection of animal and plant remains from a single
site in eastern North America.
Alden and Alfred Harlow:
This team, responsible for the Forbes Avenue extensions to Carnegie
Institute, including the Music Hall foyer, also turned out regional
Carnegie libraries, office buildings and mansions.
I. Hope Alexander: Local public-health director who
in the 1930s called public attention to what smoke was doing to
the lungs of Pittsburghers, who had the highest rate of respiratory
ailments in the country. Helped win the battle for smoke control
(legislation actually signed before "Renaissance" began).
Allderdice: President of the National Tube Co. and instrumental
in setting up Cook Forest as a nature reserve. City high school
named for him.
X. Alpern: Pennsylvania's first woman attorney general
(in the 1950s) and the first woman in Pennsylvania's history to
be appointed to its Supreme Court (1961). A state bar association
award in her name annually recognizes one outstanding woman lawyer.
Angle: The two-time NCAA champion wrestler
captured the Freestyle Wrestling Gold Medal at the 1996 Olympics.
The Mount Lebanon native and Clarion University graduate continues
to coach in the sport and is the host of national television show,
"The Road to Glory," which showcases Olympic athletes.
Apt: He became director of Carnegie Museum of Natural
History in May 1997 after 21 years with NASA in its space-exploration
program, where his jobs included astronaut. With the completion
of his fourth flight, Apt had logged more than 847 hours (35 days)
in space, including 10 hours and 49 minutes on two space walks.
He has flown around the Earth 562 times. He was born April 28, 1949,
in Springfield, Mass., but considers Pittsburgh his hometown. He
received a B.A. in physics (magna cum laude) from Harvard College
in 1971 and a doctorate in physics from the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology in 1976. Among his many awards and honors, he is the
recipient of NASA's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.
Apt and Margaret Rieck: The
"angels" of the Pittsburgh Public Theater. Recruited noted director
Ben Shaktman as director and worked to get funding for the massive
renovation of the former Carnegie Hall of the North Side library
(the building actually belongs to the city) into a new and creatively
designed theater space. Kept the fledgling company going in the
early years, and it's now quite healthy (with a new home downtown)
after a quarter-century.
Arkus: During his quarter-century as director of the
Carnegie Museum of Art (retired 1980), Arkus presided over the construction
of a new home for the MOA, a Modernist addition to the turn-of-the-century
Oakland landmark dubbed "The Scaife Gallery." He also enlarged and
broadened the collection, achieving a museum "nationally recognized
for the excellence of its collection and the beauty of its new gallery."
In addition to pushing the cause of the sometimes difficult challenge
of contemporary art, Arkus also championed "primitive" artists,
writing a book on the beloved local artist John Kane. After retirement,
he stayed in town, working as an art consultant until his death
Barbara Baker: Oversaw the privatization of the Pittsburgh
Zoo, adding new exhibits, such as the popular Kids Kingdom, and
increasing its reach as an educational and family resource center
for the region. Nationally, the Pittsburgh Zoo is recognized as
a leader in research and conservation programs, most notably with
elephants and orangutans. Building a new state-of-the-art aquarium
that will expand its coral reef project.
Baker: As executive director, he brought the Aviary on
Pittsburgh's North Side to prominence outside the region, establishing
it as the National Aviary in
Pittsburgh. In addition to its regional educational programs for
both children and adults, under Baker's leadership it has increased
its national conservation and research studies, including developing
strategies for breeding and rearing endangered species.
Baker: Established Baker Engineers, an engineering and
surveying firm in Rochester, Beaver County, in 1940, now known as
Michael Baker Corp., built by large-scale contracts for the military
and other federal clients. The first American engineering company
to perform work in Saudi Arabia at a time when it was thought to
be too risky to do so, his company has a long history of work with
telecommunications companies like AT&T; and with the U.S. Department
of Defense, which benefit from Baker-served markets. Historic projects
include: Trans-Alaska Pipeline, KHMR-American Friendship Highway
(in Cambodia, Southeast Asia), New River Gorge Bridge (in Fayetteville,
W. Va.), the Pittsburgh International Airport Midfield Terminal
Complex and Cross-Country Fiber Optic Telecommunications in Mexico.
Baldwin and Cheryl Allen Craig: The first African-American
women elected judges of the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County;
Baldwin in 1989, Craig in 1991.
Ball: First airmail
pilot on a regularly scheduled commercial run. His plane, Miss
Pittsburgh, hangs in the Pittsburgh Airport, and his name is remembered
in the annual Clifford Ball, a huge outdoor rock concert by the
Barr: Pittsburgh mayor 1959-69, overseeing tumultuous
time in local history. Not only was Pittsburgh one of the first
cities to implement major Great Society anti-poverty programs, such
as the Community Action Program (1965), the Model Cities programs
in the Hill and in Polish Hill (1966), Head Start for pre-kindergarten
children and various Manpower Training programs, but Barr also finessed
among the highest funding (per capita). Continued his predecessor's
(Lawrence's) "Renaissance" efforts with such projects as Three Rivers
Stadium and persuading U.S. Steel to build its new headquarters
in Pittsburgh. Helped get the financially floundering University
of Pittsburgh into the state-related higher-education system. Had
worked on alliances within black community and helped keep Pittsburgh
largely free of the race riots hitting other big cities in the "long
hot summers" of the 1960s; even in the post-King-assassination riots,
Pittsburgh suffered no fatalities, and there were no shots fired
by police officers.
Ball: Founder of the acclaimed American
Conservatory Theater, based in San Francisco for about 30 years
now, but the Carnegie Tech grad actually started it at the Playhouse
in 1968. Pittsburgh wasn't ready. The resident repertory/training
theater could not attract funding or audiences.
Bares: Head of the CMU robotics team that designed Dante
(a robot that several years ago attempted to explore the crater
of Mount Erebus, an active volcano in Antarctica) and Dante 2, a
robot whose eight legs contain sensors that guide it in a halting
walk across uneven surfaces (it has already explored a remote desert).
Dante 2 also has a rope winch that allows it to descend into cavities
in the earth.
Bearden: This African-American
artist, born in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 2, 1911, lived part of
his early life in East Liberty, where he attended Peabody High School.
President Ronald Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Arts in
1987, which acknowledged him as one of the country's foremost artists
and probably the
best-known black collage artist. His work reflects his diverse
background, and memories are the subject of his art. Bearden was
nationally and internationally acclaimed for his work as an extraordinarily
active member of the culturally and socially indelible Harlem Renaissance
movement, a virtual explosion of African-American art and literature
focusing heavily on the artists' experiences as black Americans.
"Art & Auction" magazine praised him as being an unjustly
neglected progenitor of the great leap forward in American painting
of the 1950s and one of the most significant black artists this
country has ever produced.
A. Bell: Pittsburgh native and graduate of Duquesne University
and Pitt Law School became the first tenured African-American professor
at Harvard Law School in 1971. More famous for how he leaves jobs,
though, through personal protests (left Harvard because of the lack
of women of color on the faculty; left deanship of Oregon Law School
when a qualified Asian-American woman was not offered a post). Also
known for extensive writings, both in legal and popular journals,
and fiction (the Geneva Crenshaw series). Now at NYU School of Law.
Thomas "Cool Papa" Bell:
The switch-hitting center fielder played for both the Pittsburgh
Crawfords (with Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson) and the Homestead
Grays (as well as other teams) in his 28-year Negro Leagues career
(1922-50). The Hall of Famer was one of the fastest (and best) base-stealers
in the history of the sport, which has led to legendary tall-tale-like
stories. Went on to coach Kansas City Monarchs, where he would groom
such young stars as Jackie Robinson for the major leagues.
Bell: Local author of "All Brides Are Beautiful"
and "In the Midst of Life," but best known for "Out
of This Furnace" (1941), a memoir of growing up in a steelworker's
Betters: Connellsville native and jazz artist with national
recognition has recorded 18 albums in his four-decade career, but
bases himself in Western Pennsylvania.
L. Benedum: Considered the world's top wildcatter, an
oil magnate who was one of Pittsburgh's top industry leaders. His
business ventures/interests included Benedum-Trees Oil Co. (founded
by Benedum and J. C. Trees), Plymouth Oil Co., Mel-Ben Oil Co.,
Hiawatha Oil and Gas Co., Penn-Ohio, Bentex, and many more. He was
also a member of the board of the Western Pennsylvania Hospital
and on board of directors of Colonial Trust Co. Benedum was largely
responsible for opening the great Ploesti oil fields in Romania,
which he also helped to close during WWII, cutting off Hitler's
best fuel supply. Benedum Center is named after him.
He made possible The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, a catalyst
for numerous charitable causes. Also a trustee of Shady Side Academy,
Waynesburg College and Western Virginia Wesleyan, and was on the
board of directors of Children's Hospital and numerous other institutions.
Benson: Hill District-born jazz musician/vocalist/composer,
best known for "Breezin'."
Recordings have topped jazz, pop and urban contemporary charts.
Manning Bigelow: As park commissioner in the 1880s, persuaded
Mary Schenley to give land to the city, thus beginning the big city
parks. As head of city planning in 1900, he started work on a system
of grand boulevards (one of which bears his name) to connect the
Russell and Norma Bixler: The Rev. Bixler and his wife
founded Cornerstone TeleVision (WPCB-TV 40) 20 years ago as a medium
for Christian programming with a Protestant/fundamentalist viewpoint.
Today, the Wall-based enterprise broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven
days a week, with two full-power television stations, more than
100 affiliate stations, in-house production of 16 original programs,
and a nationwide satellite outreach through Sky Angel, and C-Band
Satellite dishes (the large dishes) at Spacenet 4, channel 19 (101
degrees West). Bixler is the author of a number of books, including
"Earth, Fire and Sea," a look at creation, and "Faith
Blakey: Influential jazz
drummer/percussionist with a career spanning more than a half-century.
His Jazz Messengers was a training ground for many of today's biggest
stars, including Wynton Marsalis and Chuck Mangione.
Blanda: Pro football player born Sept. 17, 1927, in Youngwood
(outside of Greensburg). Honored by Pro Football Hall of Fame, enshrined
in 1981 (quarterback-kicker 6-2, 215). Famous for last-minute heroics
in five straight 1970 games. Scored record 2,002 points. Held or
tied for 21 title games, 16 regular-season marks. Passed for seven
TDs one game, 36 in season, 1961. 1961 AFL, 1970 AFC Player of the
Year. Career passing totals: 4,007 attempts, 26,920 yards, 236 TDs.
26-season, 340-game career longest ever. Played until age 48. (Also
played for 1949 Chicago Bears, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1950-58 Chicago
Bears, 1960-66 Houston Oilers, 1967-75 Oakland Raiders).
Blatt (1913-96): The "first lady" of state politics in
her day (mainly '50s-'60s). Pitt grad: both her B.A. and M.A., in
1933 and 1934 respectively; in 1937 she obtained a law degree from
the University of Pittsburgh's Law School. The East Brady, Clarion
County, native was the first woman elected to a statewide office
in Pennsylvania (auditor general, 1952) and also the first woman
to sit as a Pennsylvania appellate judge. While judge of the Commonwealth
Court, 1971-93, Blatt ordered that high school sports teams in Pennsylvania
could no longer discriminate on the basis of sex. She was elected
as state Secretary of Internal Affairs in 1954 and was the Democratic
nominee for the U.S. Senate in 1964, losing to incumbent Republican
U.S. Sen. Hugh Scott. She instead served as a member of the President's
Consumer Advisory Council, 1964-68. Blatt was honored in 1956 as
a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania and has received three
medals from popes in recognition for her work with church and society.
Block: Following a complex deal involving the
purchasing, swap and combination of several Pittsburgh newspapers,
Paul Block published the first-ever Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Aug.
2, 1927, which became the city's only morning newspaper.
and Paul Block Jr.: When Paul Block died in 1941, his
sons became co-publishers. The Blocks bought the evening Sun-Telegraph
in 1960, and on Dec. 31, 1992 (Paul Jr. was deceased by this time)
bought The Pittsburgh Press. William still serves as chairman.
Block Jr. and John Robinson Block:
sons of William and Paul Block,
respectively, are the co-publishers of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The Block family's other holdings, under the corporate name of Blade
Communications Inc. or BCI, include the Blade (Toledo, Ohio), cable
TV systems, broadcast television stations and a preprinted-advertising
Blount: Steeler enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of
Fame in 1989. Played for Pittsburgh 1970-83 (cornerback 6-3, 205).
Played in four Super Bowls, five Pro Bowls, 200 of 201 regular-season
games, and had key interception in Super Bowl IX. Third-round draft
pick, 1970. Prototype cornerback of his era with superior speed,
strength, intelligence. All-pro three years. NFL defensive MVP,
1975. Career totals: 57 interceptions, 736 yards, 13 opponents'
Bochco: This CMU grad has pretty much changed the way
Americans watch television. The Emmy Award-winning producer/writer
hit the big time with "Hill Street Blues," based on a Hill District
police station, and "St. Elsewhere," inspired by the hospitals near
that police station. Still involved with his alma mater.
Austin Boudreau: Musical director of the American Wind
Symphony, whose bandshell played at towns up and down the Mississippi
River system during the American Bicentennial celebration.
Bowman: Pitt chancellor who
sought both to grow the university (he increased enrollment from
2,300 to 23,000) and to make it more part of the community; built
the $32 million Cathedral of Learning (now the second tallest academic
building in the world, still tallest in U.S.), asking local schools
and other groups to donate dimes for bricks, and the unparalleled
Nationality Classrooms, designed, built, owned and maintained (and
still being added to) by local ethnic groups.
McKenna Boxx: President of the Allegheny
Trails Alliance, founded in 1995, which comprises seven (and
cooperates with other) trail-building organizations in Allegheny,
Fayette, Somerset, Washington and Westmoreland counties. These groups,
volunteers working with municipal and county governments, corporations
and foundations (and a certain amount of sweat equity) have built
more than 100 miles of trails which, by 2002, will be fully connected
from Pittsburgh to the Maryland border (creating the longest trail
in Pennsylvania, second-longest in the nation). The trail itself
is responsible for adding $14 million annually to the economies
of the nearby towns (expected to rise to $23 million when the trail
is complete), according to a 1999 study by the Pennsylvania Economy
League and Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
D. Boyce: Inspired by the good turn of an English Scout,
the Plum area native brought the Scouting movement to the U.S. His
efforts led to the incorporation of Boy Scouts in Washington, D.C.,
on Feb. 8, 1910, and to charter by Congress June 3, 1916. Today
he is honored with a state marker placed just a mile north of his
birthplace near New Kensington. A county park in Monroeville is
named for him.
Bradshaw: Legendary quarterback (1970-83) who led the
Steelers to four Super Bowl championships and eight AFC Central
titles. Held Super Bowl records: nine TDs, 932 yards; post-season
records: 30 TDs, 3,833 yards. MVP in Super Bowls XIII, XIV. First
player in NFL draft, 1970. Excellent throwing arm, called own plays.
Career stats: 27,989 yards, 212 TDs passing, 2,257 yards, 32 TDs
rushing. AFC Player of the Year, 1978. After brief forays into both
movie-acting and country-Western singing, Bradshaw settled into
a second career as a network TV sports commentator for Fox.
A. Brashear: Astronomer and engineer of telescopes, building
his first in the mid-1870s with his wife, Phoebe Stewart. The modest
South Side resident gained world fame in astronomy,
building telescopes and spectroscopes for observatories all over
the world, starting in the mid 1870s. He and his wife are entombed
at Pittsburgh's Allegheny Observatory, and his name lives on in
a city high school and in a South Side organization.
Brockett: "Chef Brockett" to millions of "Mister
Rogers' Neighborhood" fans around the country was also a popular
comedian, writer, producer, director and impresario. Originally
known as the male half of the comedy team Brockett and Barbara,
the local native became a local landmark with his topical revues,
"Forbidden Pittsburgh." He wrote most of the material, directed
and (until later in life) starred as well. His various troupes (his
theatrical enterprises included a lot of industrial shows) provided
a start and a paycheck for many local actors, such as Michael Keaton.
Brown: President of the Pittsburgh
Cultural Trust since 1986, on the board since its inception
in 1984. The Shadyside resident has helped coordinate the renovation/construction
of the four downtown theaters owned by the Trust: the Benedum Center
for the Performing Arts (formerly the Stanley Theater) in 1987;
the Byham Theater (formerly the Fulton Theater) in 1991; the Harris
Theater (formerly the Art Cinema) in 1995; and the new O'Reilly
Theater. Other projects in the Cultural District (14 blocks of downtown
Pittsburgh) under her tenure include the renovation of the Wood
Street Galleries, ongoing work on the new Allegheny Riverfront Park,
Katz Plaza, and various facade restorations and streetscaping projects.
Today, the Cultural District attracts 1 million visitors each year.
Among previous jobs with county, she helped to set up the performing-arts
program at Hartwood.
Brown: One of jazz history's most outstanding bass
players, born in Pittsburgh in 1926. At the early age of 19,
Brown's four-string facility led to his recruitment by Dizzie Gillespie's
band. Two years later, he was accompanying legendary Ella Fitzgerald,
to whom he was married (1948-53). He joined the Oscar Peterson trio
in 1951 and stayed with Oscar for most of the next 15 years, eventually
leaving the trio (in 1966) to set up base in Los Angeles, where
he divides his time between teaching and working in film and television
studios, personal management, and playing jazz at clubs and festivals.
Although widely considered a mainstream musician, this founding
member of the L.A. Four is thoroughly at home in bop, and his playing
is a consistent lesson to all other bass players, regardless of
the field of music in which they perform.
S. Brown: First black judge in Pittsburgh and Western
Pennsylvania. This West Virginia native graduated third of a class
of 22 from Pitt Law School. Began seven consecutive terms in the
state House in 1935. Called the father of the Fair Employment Practices
Act because he introduced the original bill that was eventually
enacted into law. President of the Pittsburgh NAACP for 24 years.
Appointed first black member of the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education,
appointed to the advisory body of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), as well as numerous
other firsts. An affiliate of the National Bar Association, named
in his honor, provides for networking of African-American lawyers.
Buhl Jr.: Department store owner (Boggs & Buhl);
established trust that created Buhl Planetarium/Buhl Science Center
(1939). Bequeathed his fortune (around $11 million) to The Buhl
Foundation, which he established as a means to consider first "the
aids, needs, and well-being of the citizens of Pittsburgh and the
Co. of Allegheny."
Burns: TV pioneer (started at KQV radio) with 36-year
career at KDKA and its predecessor, WDTV. Beginning in 1976, he
anchored alongside his daughter, forming what was then the nation's
only father-daughter broadcast team for what was, for a time, the
highest-rated newscast in the U.S.
Cahouet: Until earlier this year the chairman, president,
chief executive officer of Mellon Bank Corp., he has made a long-term
commitment of the nation's 18th largest bank to remain and grow
in Pittsburgh. Mellon employs 28,000 people worldwide, 10,000 of
them in Pittsburgh, and that number will grow when the new client-services
center opens next to One Mellon Center in 2001.
Caliguiri: Pittsburgh's "Renaissance II" mayor came to
the office by the "back door" (succeeding as president of City Council
when Mayor Peter Flaherty left to join the Carter cabinet in 1977).
More of a consensus-builder than his "Renaissance I" counterpart,
Caliguiri surprised more than a few folks with his understated,
congenial abilities. In his decade-plus at the helm, Pittsburgh
markedly changed its skyline (adding PPG Place, Oxford Centre, One
Mellon Bank, CNG Tower, Benedum Center, etc.), enjoyed a veritable
arts explosion (dozens of small theaters, dance companies, galleries,
etc. sprang up) and was named America's Most Livable City by Rand-McNally.
Deeply mourned when he died of amyloidosis, a rare and incurable
disease, and commemorated with a larger than life bronze statue
in the front portal of the City-County Building.
Washington County native started the area's first Coca-Cola
bottling plant, which remains in the family's third generation.
Cannon: In his first job with local government in the
1970s, he set up Pittsburgh's first emergency-medicine bureau of
the Public Safety Department. Paramedics and rescue squads were
still something new to the country. Later became director of public
safety and later held jobs with the county.
Carey: Children's TV personality who was the first person
to talk to Fred Rogers on TV, on "Children's Corner," the live-each-day
show that ran for eight seasons, beginning in 1954. Fred, who was
originally only supposed to provide music for the show but ended
up as producer and puppeteer, devised the character Daniel Striped
Tiger, a character who would later pop up on "Mister
Rogers' Neighborhood." Fred (as Daniel Tiger) would introduce
films that Josie had prepared and when the films broke (as they
often did), Daniel and Josie would fill the time, something at which
they were both extremely adept, since most of the show was unscripted
anyway. Later, Josie worked at KDKA and at a South Carolina TV station
writing and hosting a show called "Wheee!" She also came back to
QED and did programming at the station in the '60s.
Carey: In 1925, at 35 years old, the Pirate veteran had
his best year, hitting .343 and then .458 in the World Series. Overall,
he had six seasons of hitting over .300, but he built his reputation
as a superb outfielder and as a scientific base stealer, leading
the National League a record 10 times; in 1922, he stole 51 bases
of 53 attempts.
Carnegie: Philanthropist with fortune made in
Pittsburgh steel in 19th century; sold his steel company for $250
million in 1901 and retired, eventually giving away $350 million
to charities around the world. Founder (in 1900) of what's now CMU,
one of the greatest economic engines for producing new companies
for the Pittsburgh region today, not to mention many notable scientists,
engineers, artists (both fine and performing); funded major paleolithic
expeditions that found a wealth of dinosaurs (two new species named
for AC and his wife) at site now set aside as Dinosaur National
Monument in Utah; also funded 1,600 libraries plus church organs,
music halls, etc., around the world (many of them bear his name).
Benefactor of Tuskegee Institute, construction of the Palace of
Peace at the Hague, Netherlands, now the International Court of
Justice of the U.N.
Carson: Springdale native, graduate of what's
now Chatham College, scientist and writer recognized as the mother
of the modern environmental movement with her 1960 book, "Silent
Spring," detailing the ecological hazards of post-WWII
chemical pesticides. Her call to arms led to both popular and governmental
concern for the environment, eventually resulting in such things
as the Environmental Protection Agency and Earth Day. Also popular
for several books and magazine articles communicating her love of
Carter: Jazz pioneer, one of the first women to make
it big in jazz (bass fiddle). Best known in 1940s as a member of
Earl "Fatha" Hines' Orchestra.
(Stevenson) Cassatt: Painter
born in Allegheny City; did much of her work in Europe (mostly in
France), where she had moved with her parents when she was 5, and
where she first achieved recognition; exhibited in U.S. extensively;
in 1904, awarded the Lippincott Prize of the Pennsylvania Academy
of Fine Arts for her painting "Caress"; also in 1904 was made chevalier
of the French Legion of Honor; in 1914, she received the Gold Medal
of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
Cather: One of the nation's greatest writers
began her career in Pittsburgh (1896-1906), which found its way
into many of her works. Her pokes at "Presbyteria" mocked the Millionaires
Row of Fifth Avenue (she lived just off Fifth, on Murrayhill Avenue
in Shadyside), and her "Paul's Case" was inspired by her experiences
as a teacher in local high schools. In "Uncle Valentine," the title
character is based upon Edgeworth composer Ethelbert Nevin.
Chabon: First novel, "The
Mysteries of Pittsburgh" (written after he graduated from
Pitt), set a record for its time (1989) for the highest advance
given any first novel, which turned out to be a great success. His
second novel, "Wonder
Boys," also set in Pittsburgh, was made into an Oscar-nominated
film. Though not a native, Chabon grew up here. His reputation as
one of the foremost young American fiction writers was cemented
with a Pulitzer for his most recent novel "The
Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay."
Chait and Joe Porter: Proprietors of Eagle Grocery in
1918, and teamed with Joe Goldstein to expand it into a 125-store
chain, which they sold to Kroger's in 1928. When they decided to
get back into the grocery store business in 1931, Porter, Chait,
and Goldstein approached Hyman Moravitz and Morris Weizenbaum (who
had started OK Grocery in Turtle Creek in 1913) about becoming partners,
and developed Giant Eagle Grocery Stores into a chain.
Charleston: A stellar player in the Negro Leagues of
the 1920s (he batted over .300 for most of his career and was a
standout center fielder and first baseman). Managed several teams
during his 40-year career, joining Gus Greenlee's Crawfords team
(as both manager and player) in 1932; from '32-36, he maintained
a consistent .340-plus batting average and, along with Josh Gibson,
provided Pittsburgh with one of baseball's all-time most potent
offenses. The most successful manager in Negro baseball since Rube
Foster. Elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1976
Chedwick: "The Daddio of the Raddio" or "Your Platter
Pushin' Pappa," Chedwick was a
pioneer in Pittsburgh rock 'n' roll radio at station WHOD in
Homestead. In the '50s, his support and airplay enabled local groups
like the Skyliners, the Del Vikings and the Marcels to gain national
fame and put Pittsburgh on the map as a capital of the doo-wop sound.
Christie: This Crescent Township native projected one
of the most famous falsettos in early rock with a string of hits
like "The Gypsy Cried," "Two Faces Have I," "Lightnin' Strikes"
and more. John Lennon cited him as a major influence. Still popular
after more than 30 years, with a
cultlike following (known as "Lou Heads") and featured on a
"Grease" tribute album last year, along with other early
rockers. Recent recordings are more in the romantic ballad/easy-listening
Christman: President of the Pittsburgh High Technology
Council and of the affiliated Southwestern Pennsylvania Independent
Resource Center. The former group serves as "a voice for the technology
industry of the region," both as a lobbyist to local, state and
federal government, but also with benefits like health insurance,
education programs and networking opportunities to technology companies.
The latter group is dedicated to assisting small- to medium-sized
manufacturing organizations in the region.
W. Chubb: Invented polarized glass at Westinghouse Electric
Co. in East Pittsburgh, 1920.
Clarke: Pirates player/manager 1900-15; led the team
to 1,422 wins, more than any other coach, also achieving the team's
highest percentage of wins (.595). Following the Louisville-Pittsburgh
merger in 1900, he directed the Pirates to three successive pennants
and then a World Championship in 1909. He was also an outstanding
outfielder and hitter.
Pirate legend (played
1954-72) for offense, defense and leadership; topped the .300 mark
13 times, won four batting crowns, National League MVP in 1966;
star of 1971 World Series (during which he batted .414). First Latin
player in baseball's Hall of Fame (customary five-year waiting period
waived); humanitarian who died while personally overseeing delivery
of relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua; role model
throughout the Latino community in the Western Hemisphere, with
more hospitals, schools, parks, etc., named for him than for any
U.S. president (including, in Pittsburgh, a street, a park and a
bridge). Second baseball player (after Jackie Robinson) on a postage
T. Comes: His ecclesiastical talents range from the Spanish
Renaissance St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Millvale to the Late
English Gothic St. Paul's in Butler.
Como: Canonsburg-born singer whose hometown recently
erected a statue in his honor. Como's record sales were estimated
at 60 million, including 20 gold discs. Among his top hits were
"Till the End of Time," based on Chopin's Polonaise in A-Flat Major,
"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows" (adapted from another Chopin theme),
"Prisoner of Love," "Forever and Ever," "They Say It's Wonderful"
and "Some Enchanted Evening." Also host of his own variety show
in the early days of television.
"Chuck" Cooper: The All-American basketball player at
Duquesne University became the first African-American to play in
the NBA when he signed with the Boston Celtics in 1950.
Cooper: Chairman of Fore Systems, the poster child for
the region's high-tech future. The computer-network firm, which
began in a walk-up above a Squirrel Hill beauty parlor, now employs
more than 900 people in a new $42-million, glass-walled headquarters.
Cooper himself is mentoring with CMU's computer science program
(where all four of the FORE partners began) to improve the prospects
both for the new computer grads to stay in the area and for the
local high-tech industry to hire the best.
Conn: The "Pittsburgh
Kid," after turning pro in 1935, had a 27-fight unbeaten streak
over such fighters as Fritzie Zivic, Babe Risko, Vince Dundee and
Teddy Yarosz, and went on to win the 175-pound crown in 1939, establishing
himself as an all-time great. One of the greatest light-heavyweight
champions in history, often remembered for his near-upset of heavyweight
champion Joe Louis (he was ultimately knocked out by Louis with
two seconds left in the round). Corner in Oakland named after him
(Fifth and Craig St.).
Connelly: Founded Gateway Clipper Fleet; riverboat gambling
magnate; as a bank industry dabbler in the 1950s, he started giving
free toasters and dinnerware as incentives to bank depositors, a
practice soon adopted by banks nationwide; later founded the Apples
for the Students program, in which schools save supermarket register
tapes and exchange them for free computers that Connelly, in effect,
buys wholesale and then sells to the stores at a markup (as of 1996,
this program placed more than $250 million of Apple computer products
in schools in all 50 states, including $13 million locally through
Giant Eagle from 1988-96).
Conrad: This Westinghouse engineer began experimenting
with "wireless telephone" in 1916. This led to amateur station 8XK,
the forerunner of KDKA radio, in the garage behind his Wilkinsburg
home (a historical plaque marks the spot), where he beamed concerts
of Victrola music. On Nov. 11, 1920, Pittsburghers tuned crystal
sets into KDKA to hear returns of the Harding-Cox elections, the
first scheduled radio broadcast.
"Beano" Cook: The former graduate and sports-information
director for the University of Pittsburgh, 1956-66. More recently
a commentator on college sports for ESPN, he is one of the most
recognizable faces in college athletics, known for his quick sense
of humor. Perhaps his most famous was in response to baseball commissioner
Bowie Kuhn's offer of giving the hostages returning from Iran lifetime
baseball passes: "Haven't they suffered enough?"
Cope: As the "Voice
of the Steelers," the long-time WTAE sportscaster and Squirrel
Hill native invented the Terrible Towel, the great symbol of the
Steelers dynasty of the 1970s. Also a nationally known sportswriter
(he began in print) and certainly the best-known voice in Pittsburgh,
supporting several charities, most notably concerning autism.
Costa: The talented jazz pianist had offers to make a
career in New York but preferred Pittsburgh. Heard by millions of
children around the country during his years as music director/pianist
for "Mister Rogers Neighborhood," but remembered fondly by an earlier
generation of children as the (by today's standards) bizarre role
model of the cigar-chewing, cross-dressing Indian Mary on Josie
Carey's show. Hometown of Arnold (Westmoreland County) is planning
a Johnny Costa Center for the Performing Arts, which will include
a performance stage and a museum focused on local performing artists.
James R. Cox: The Lawrenceville native and pastor of
Old St. Patrick's Church supported/went to the aid of numerous labor
actions in first half of the century (aided strikers in the Pittsburgh
taxicab war in 1930, but stringently warned and exhorted against
violence while imploring them to demand their rights). Also in 1930,
Cox protested against alleged favoritism shown public utilities
and was an appointed member of the Public Utilities Committee; appointed
member of Unemployment Commission of 1930 because of his work for
the unemployed; between 1930 and 1932, Cox and his church served
more than 850,000 meals to unemployed men and gave more than 61,000
baskets of food to the poor, clothing to more than 18,500 people,
shoes to more than 3,100, and distributed more than 400 tons of
coal); jettisoned into national fame when he led 25,000 jobless
men from the Strip District to the front steps of the White House;
ran for president in 1920.
Curto: The foreman at Phipps Conservatory for 10 years,
Curto was appointed the position of horticulturist in the city bureau
of Parks and Recreation in 1946, putting him in full charge of all
activities at the Conservatory. This included raising the bedding
plants that would later be planted along boulevards (e.g. Thomas
Boulevard) and other city areas. Curto's name lives on today in
what may be Pittsburgh's strangest little park; Frank
Curto Park along Bigelow Boulevard has one (badly maintained)
drive and no amenities, but is home to the large "french fry" sculpture
and a frequently visiting flock of wild turkeys.
Crutchfield: Played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords; along
with Cool Papa Bell and Ted Strong, formed the finest outfield in
the Negro Leagues. While with the Crawfords Jimmie's performance
earned him three trips to the East-West All-Star game. In essence,
the epitome of the well-rounded ballplayer. Cool Papa Bell once
observed that "Jimmie was the best team player in baseball. If he
never played in a game, he would still have been an important part
of any baseball team. He cheered you up when things weren't going
too good whether you had troubles on or off the field. You always
knew you could count on Jimmie to be on the bright side of everything."
Shirley "Kiki" Cuyler:
memorable for his eighth inning, bases-loaded double off Walter
Johnson in the seventh game of the 1925 World Series to win it for
the Pirates. The Hall of Famer batted .300 in 10 of his 15 seasons
as a regular, topping .350 four times, with a lifetime mark of .321.
Four times he led the league in stolen bases.
president of CMU; took office in 1972 after being dean of the school's
Graduate School of Industrial Administration for 10 years; helped
CMU achieve financial solvency through his leadership; also helped
the school to greatly enhance its reputation as one of the nation's
leading educational institutions. Was deemed "the archetype of the
new breed of leaders at American universities" by The New York Times;
one of his books, A Behavioral Theory of the Firm, was named a Citation
Classic by the Institute for Scientific Information.
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