Profiles

Ron Freeman: Bringing Light to a Dark Science

Somewhere between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, sometime between assertions that America does not torture and insistence that the end justified the means, I remembered what a Pittsburgh police officer once told me about the head of the city’s Major Crimes Division: “Everybody confesses to Ron Freeman.”

Mike Benedum: A Character portrait in Oil

Pittsburgh and steel are virtually synonymous. Less well known is Pittsburgh’s rich heritage in the oil business. In 1854, inventor and businessman Samuel L. Kier built the nation’s first oil refinery as a crude, five-​barrel still 100 feet from today’s U.S. Steel Building.

Thelma Williams Lovette, Social Worker and Community Leader

by Jeff Sewald
I was born in Pittsburgh on Feb. 28, 1916, the fifth of 11 children. My family and I lived at 1520 Wylie Ave. in the Hill District. And we all looked out for each other. In 1925, when I was just a girl, Mama and Papa took us to the…

A Harvest Tale

America’s art, literature and popular culture are ripe with the story of Johnny Appleseed, the colorful eccentric who planted orchards to feed America’s pioneers. He is often linked with legendary folk characters Paul Bunyan, Rip Van Winkle, the Headless Horseman and John Henry.

Against All Odds

Until the spring of 1944, Hungary’s pre-​war population of 700,000 Jews remained largely unscathed. Hungarian Regent Nicholas Horthy had resisted Hitler’s calls for the deportation of Hungarian Jews into the killing maw at Auschwitz/​Birkenau, 175 miles north of Budapest.

Katherine MacCord: A Chance to Change the World

This fall, 23-​year-​old Katherine MacCord will begin her studies at England’s Cambridge University on the dime of Microsoft co-​founder and billionaire Bill Gates as the first University of Pittsburgh student to earn a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Mission of Mercy

When UPMC health systems purchased Mercy Hospital last year, the future of one of Pittsburgh’s most historic institutions became assured just as new questions arose. With the sale, the Sisters of Mercy received a sum that, after expenses, totaled $88 million.

Henry Clay Frick: Blood Pact

Among the great fortunes of Pittsburgh’s Golden Age (18701910), that of Henry Clay Frick stands third, bested only by Andrew Carnegie and the Mellons. But the extraordinary aspect of the Frick fortune was not its size. Carnegie, Heinz, Mellon and Westinghouse were all entrepreneurs who exercised ultimate control in their…

Jack Perkowski, ASIMCO Technologies

by Jeff Sewald
Like so many others in the Pittsburgh area, my grandparents on both sides emigrated from Poland to the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Think about the journey they made.

Mark Roosevelt, Superintendent

by Jeff Sewald
My interest in educational reform started when I was in the legislature in Massachusetts. I was lucky enough, as a young legislator, to be offered the chairmanship of the Education Committee.

Manfred Honeck, Music Director

by Jeff Sewald
I came to Pittsburgh in 2006 originally just to be a guest conductor for the symphony orchestra. I didn’t know at the time that they were looking for a music director. I really had no idea about it.

Family is Everything

As part of our city’s 250 celebration, organizers encouraged Pittsburghers to hold family reunions and bring people to Pittsburgh to showcase “America’s Most Livable City.” And so,I followed suit, inviting my family to come to the Heinz History Center in June for a family reunion.

Riverlife CEO: Lisa Schroeder

For people who know about such things, Martin Millspaugh is legend. A former Washington, D.C., journalist who specialized in covering housing and urban development issues, Millspaugh was one of the early movers behind the renewal of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

H.J. Heinz: Relish Success

In the second half of the 19th century, as Pittsburgh emerged as one of America’s great cities, it did so on the back of heavy industry; steel predominantly, but also glass, oil and all manner of heavy machinery. Indeed, four of the five men novelist Edith Wharton dubbed the “Lords…

Robert F. Vagt, The Heinz Endowments

by Jeff Sewald
I can’t look at my career path and, with a straight face, tell anyone that it was the result of a plan. I was born in Delaware. My folks split up, and then my mother and I moved to Connecticut in the years before I went to college.
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