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Pittsburghers of the Century


Marcus, 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.

I.W. Abel: President 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.

F. Murray Abraham: Versatile stage actor 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.

James 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.

Frank 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.

Dr. 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).

Taylor Allderdice: President of the National Tube Co. and instrumental in setting up Cook Forest as a nature reserve. City high school named for him.

Anne 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.

Kurt 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.

Jay 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.

Joan 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.

Leon 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 in 1999.



Dr. 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.

Dayton 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.

Michael 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.

Cynthia 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.

Clifford 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 band Phish.

Joseph 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.

William 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.

John 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.

Romare 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.


Derrick 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.

James 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.

Thomas 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 family.

Harold Betters: Connellsville native and jazz artist with national recognition has recorded 18 albums in his four-decade career, but bases himself in Western Pennsylvania.

Michael 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.

Paul Benedum: 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.

George Benson: Hill District-born jazz musician/vocalist/composer, best known for "Breezin'." Recordings have topped jazz, pop and urban contemporary charts.

Edward 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 parks.

R. 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 Works."

Art 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.

George 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).

Genevieve 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.


Paul 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.


William 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.

William Block Jr. and John Robinson Block: The 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 distribution system.

Mel 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' fumble recoveries.

Stephen 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.

Robert 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.

John 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.

Linda 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.

William 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.

Terry 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.

John 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.


Don 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.

Carol 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.

Ray 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.

Homer 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.

Henry 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."

Bill 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.



Frank 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.

Richard 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.

Milford Cameron: Washington County native started the area's first Coca-Cola bottling plant, which remains in the family's third generation.

Glenn 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.

Josie 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.

Max 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.

Andrew 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.

Rachel 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 nature.

Lillian 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.

Mary (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.

Willa 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.

Michael 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."

Ben 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.

Oscar 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

Porky 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.

Lou 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 mode.

Ray 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.

Lewis W. Chubb: Invented polarized glass at Westinghouse Electric Co. in East Pittsburgh, 1920.

Fred 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.

Roberto Clemente:
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 stamp.

John 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.

Perry 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.

Charles "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.

Eric 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.

Billy 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.).

John 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).

Frank 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.

Carroll "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?"

Myron 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.

Johnny 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.

Father 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.

Frank 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.

Jimmie 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."

Hazen Shirley "Kiki" Cuyler: Still 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.

Richard Cyert: The sixth 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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Pittsburghers of the Century


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