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The gift of opportunity

In October, one of Pittsburgh’s children is coming home and throwing a big party. That child is the Carnegie Corp. of New York and the “party” is a two-day celebration of the most recent winners of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. The biennial event, the Nobel Prize of philanthropy, has honored the titans of the …

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Thomas Hales: The Proof of the Proof

The message went out without fanfare on a quiet summer morning. Thomas Hales finally was done—or so it seemed. Near collapse, he e-mailed his colleagues announcing that he had achieved the impossible. After more than a decade of work, Hales had completed a proof of the Kepler conjecture, a centuries-old conundrum about how best to …

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Rich Engler, Music Promoter and Entrepreneur

I was born in New Kensington, Pa., and grew up in Creighton, across the river. My father was a glass worker at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. My mother worked for the county. I studied art education at Youngstown State, then at Carnegie Mellon. I was also playing in a band and began to see …

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His Last Resort

I don’t want to be mayor of Pittsburgh. I want to change Pittsburgh forever, and I’m convinced the best way to do that is as mayor. There are, however, other ways to make our city better. You could work for an extraordinary politician who cares for this city like no other place on earth. You …

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Saunders, Gibson, Dietz, Perkins, Nollen, Astorga, Dayan, Suver, Wright

Thomas D. Saunders is the new president and CEO of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Saunders was most recently in Gainesville, Fla., where he was community development director for the city for the past 10 years, directing planning, growth management, redevelopment, housing, historic preservation and neighborhood planning.Prior to that, he directed the Maryland Environmental Trust, a …

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McCullough, Chiodo, Boesel, Bernard, Moore, Wargo, Hansen, Prosser, Aiken

C. Hax McCullough Jr., 81 McCullough was a writer and a great advocate for Pittsburgh. His projects often included supporting the arts, and he wrote histories of the Pittsburgh Symphony, opera in Pittsburgh, West Penn Hospital, The Pittsburgh Golf Club and corporate histories.He had a love for music which began as a youngster in Point …

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It’s a Book Thing

Ten or 15 years ago, a story about Pittsburgh’s “independent” bookstores wouldn’t have made much sense. “When we opened in 1990, there was just the Borders in South Hills,” says Richard Goldman, co-owner of Mystery Lovers’ Bookshop. Now the Pittsburgh area supports 18 of what Goldman calls “the chain superstores,” doing an estimated 80 percent …

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Heinz CEO: Bill Johnson

Quick, name the second person to fly solo across the Atlantic. It’s not easy to follow greatness, whether genuine or self appointed. William R. Johnson, CEO of The H.J. Heinz Company since 1998, has had to do it twice in his life, first as the son of an NFL player and coach and then as …

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Lane, Meachem, Anderson, Keeler, LaCasse, Gleason, Gunther, Howard

Linda S. Lane is the deputy superintendent of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. A 2003 classmate of Superintendent Mark Roosevelt at Broad Superintendents Academy, she comes to Pittsburgh from Des Moines, Iowa, where she was deputy superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools.She was the first female and minority to serve as Des Moines’ chief operating …

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Westinghouse CEO: Steve Tritch

We Pittsburghers have had our share of recent good news/bad news upon which we can pontificate over summer cocktails — the challenge of population loss vs. the glory of again being the most livable city. We can also prattle on about our region’s CEOs — better they be homebred or global business stars? With Westinghouse Electric’s …

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Bickel, Nickel, Magobern, Rhoades, Elmer, Lerner, Anderson

Minnette Bickel, 85: A national award-winning portrait artist, Bickel painted hundreds of portraits of notable Pittsburghers and national figures. She would get a feel for the subject and then be guided by intuition. She was among the founders of Carnegie Museum’s Women’s Committee and was known as a charming, friendly and stylish person. Elbie Nickel, …

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Sullivan, Wright, Kindler, Tomlin, Balzano, Brubach, Paternostro, Palmer, Honeck

Mark L. Sullivan is vice chairman and chief financial officer of recently formed TriState Capital Bank. He has been a leader in the financial services industry for more than 35 years, starting at Price Waterhouse, where be eventually became partner. In Philadelphia most recently, he served as a member of Ernst & Young’s Partner Advisory …

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Anatomy of a Rescue

On the first morning of November, I walked down the long slope from my house in Squirrel Hill to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland for a meeting of foundation leaders to do what people in my position do so many times each week: Assess the merits of a proposal to fund a worthy …

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Nathan Davis, Music Educator, Performer, Composer

Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, are twin cities, with nightclubs and great musicians in both places. The only thing that separates the two cities is a bridge. I grew up playing saxophone in Kansas City, Kansas, and went to the University of Kansas as a music education major. One night, a friend and …

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Lewis, Becker, McCarl, Shafer, Giddens, Frick, Jacobs, Fowkes, Campbell

Raymond P. Shafer, 89: Pennsylvania’s Republican governor from 1967 to 1971, Shafer of Meadville extended the legislative term to two years, made Pennsylvania the first state to allow public workers to unionize and tried unsuccessfully to institute income taxes.He later chaired a national commission on drugs, which recommended the Nixon administration legalize possession of small …

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Cooper, Schafer, Tobias, Wobb, Johnson, Joyner, Harper, Thrift, Fischer, Schloss

Dr. William M. Cooper, 87: William Cooper possessed tremendous medical knowledge, superior diagnostic skills and a compassionate manner that helped many patients and Greater Pittsburgh alike. The hematologist was also an innovator, helping to form the Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh and serving as its first medical director. He served as medical director of the …

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Zehr, Towey, Malkin, Rebholz, Wenzel, Latta, Walker, Busch

Dr. Kenton Zehr is chief of the division of cardiac surgery and professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and associate director of UPMC’s Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite University and his medical degree from Penn State’s College of Medicine.Dr. Zehr performed …

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Tom Vilsack: From Pittsburgh to President

The remarkable story of Tom Vilsack began in a Pittsburgh orphanage where Dolly and Bud Vilsack adopted him. He grew up in Squirrel Hill and graduated from Shady Side Academy and later Hamilton College and Albany Law School. In 1998, he upset a heavily favored Republican opponent to become the first Democratic governor of Iowa …

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Joseph A. Hardy III, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader

Money. That’s your scorecard. Absolutely. But anyone who is financially successful is so because of the contributions of many people. I don’t say that because I’m a good guy. I say that because it’s true. Years ago, this kid of about 16 started working for us. I saw that he was bright. He had depth, …

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Astro Teller, Entrepreneur and Author

I’m an entrepreneur, the CEO of a company. That takes up a lot of my time. But I love playing with my kids, doing things with friends and getting exercise. I’ve also found that I need artistic stimulation to exercise the other part of my brain. That’s one of the reasons I write. It helps …

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Arrivals: Fall ’06

John R. Price is president and CEO of Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh. He is a Rhodes Scholar, who earned advanced degrees in development economics and diplomatic history from Queens College at Oxford University. He is also a graduate of Harvard Law School. During the first Nixon Administration, Price succeeded the late Daniel Patrick …

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Heyward, Soffer, Trimarchi, Shekell, DeBolt, O’Connor, Rea, Edwards, Little

E. James Trimarchi, 83: Over the past 23 years, Trimarchi built a small Indiana bank with $31 million in assets into the $6 billion First Commonwealth Financial Corporation, serving as its first president and CEO and retiring as chairman six months before his death.A native of Indiana who served as a naval officer in the …

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