2018 Fall

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

What Do I Know?

John Wetenhall, Ph.D., MBA

Very early one Sunday morning when I was in graduate school, I answered a phone call from a distinguished Stanford professor who summoned me in his gruff voice: “Get down to my office.“

Arnold Palmer, Golfing Legend and Entrepreneur

I was born in 1929 and raised during the Great Depression in Latrobe, Pa. Life was pretty tough in those days, but thankfully, my mother, father, little sister and I were together a whole lot of the time. We played golf, skied and went to movies — things like that — but we were…

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

My mother and father were immigrants who had a mom-​and-​pop grocery store, and they worked hard. I was an only child — born March 20, 1931 — and, from the beginning, my father told me that I was going to be a doctor.

Chip Ganassi, Auto Racing Entrepreneur

Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Pittsburgh was the center of the universe. All the biggest companies were here: U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, Alcoa, PPG, Westinghouse; you name it. And on top of that, we had the Pirates and the Steelers. The city was firing on all cylinders, and…

Thaddeus Mosley, Sculptor

Art is about personal expression. Anyone who discovers and practices this has something to live for other than what they have to do to make a living. People who write poetry don’t make a lot of money, but seeing their words on the page provides more satisfaction than any job…

Dick Thornburgh, Lawyer and Politician

by Jeff Sewald
I’ve had three distinct phases of my career — from public prosecutor to elected official to Washington lawyer — and, strangely, they all came about serendipitously. I grew up in Pittsburgh and went to Yale as an engineering student, even though I was not really suited for it.

Robert Qualters, Artist

by Jeff Sewald
What’s it like to be 75? Well, I’ll tell you. I’ve had two knee replacements. I’ve had back surgery. I keep falling down and breaking things: my fingers, my skull.

Barbara Luderowski, The Mattress Factory

by Jeff Sewald
I arrived in Pittsburgh about the same time that Columbus arrived in America. Actually, it was in 1972, or thereabouts. I was driving through, hustling my work, and stopped at Pittsburgh History & Landmarks to try to interest them in a garden I wanted to design for them.

Thelma Williams Lovette, Social Worker and Community Leader

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…

Jack Perkowski, ASIMCO Technologies

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

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

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.

Robert F. Vagt, The Heinz Endowments

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.

Paul O’Neill Sr., U.S. Secretary of Treasury

Facts and knowledge have always been important to me, in government and in business. I believe that it is my duty to either know the answers or to know where to get the answers fast if an important decision must be made.

Abraham J. Twerski, Psychiatrist and Rabbi

I was born in Milwaukee where my father was a rabbi. Two of my brothers were six and eight years older than I and were off to yeshiva when I was about 7.
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