Sponsored by

Profiles

Baby Byron Turns 18

In the 1990s, the “Baby Byron” case exposed the nation to Allegheny County’s child welfare system—and one family’s ultimately unsuccessful battle to complete a cross-racial adoption. “Baby Byron” turned 18 in July. And his story is far from over. It’s 90 degrees as we sit in front of the main Carnegie Library branch in Oakland …

Baby Byron Turns 18 Read More »

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 I pictured myself running one …

Chip Ganassi, Auto Racing Entrepreneur Read More »

A City-Centric Provost

To hear Patricia Beeson describe it, driving into Pittsburgh through the Fort Pitt tunnel is like stumbling upon some kind of hidden Brigadoon. When she arrived in the city in 1983 after driving across the country from her native Oregon, Beeson had Simon and Garfunkel’s on-the-road anthem “America”—complete with reference to Pittsburgh—cued up for that first view …

A City-Centric Provost Read More »

Bayer CEO: Greg Babe

Other football players were bigger and faster. That didn’t hold back Greg Babe. During summer days, he would run up and down the steps inside Magnolia High School in New Martinsville, W. Va. while his friends hung out at the pool. Those sweat-soaked workouts paid off: Babe rushed for 2,200 yards in 1975, a school …

Bayer CEO: Greg Babe Read More »

Dick Thornburgh, Lawyer and Politician

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. A number of my family members were engineers, so I explored …

Dick Thornburgh, Lawyer and Politician Read More »

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 could offer. It’s the same …

Thaddeus Mosley, Sculptor Read More »

A Friend in Need

Eleanor Ott grew up in a family that encouraged her to pursue her passion in life. What that passion was didn’t become clear until after she left her Lawrence, Kan. home as a high school valedictorian with a college scholarship. She discovered it among refugee families from Iraq, Burundi, Somalia and other desperate lands whose …

A Friend in Need Read More »

Word Brains

No two games of Scrabble are ever the same. But when the Pittsburgh Scrabble Club convenes on Wednesday nights, there’s a scene that replays itself over and over again. “Someone will show up for the first time and say ‘I’m here because nobody in my family wants to play me. They’re all tired of me …

Word Brains Read More »

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.” I first met Freeman almost a decade ago. The …

Ron Freeman: Bringing Light to a Dark Science Read More »

Robert Qualters, Artist

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. But overall I feel pretty good, actually. I still like to work. I just keep on going. I find some way to continue. My most …

Robert Qualters, Artist Read More »

Westinghouse CEO: Aris Candris

Aris Candris is not what you might expect. He skis black diamonds and enjoys snorkeling, scuba and free diving. On any given Sunday, he’ll jump on his bike and ride the hills of western Pennsylvania with no particular plan in mind. A perfect evening must include a great cigar. He and his wife value the …

Westinghouse CEO: Aris Candris Read More »

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 opening of the Centre Avenue …

Thelma Williams Lovette, Social Worker and Community Leader Read More »

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. The best-known literary work is Vachel Lindsay’s free-verse poem “In Praise of …

A Harvest Tale Read More »

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. While such an achievement suggests she followed an academic strategy carefully conceived before college or later, the path that …

Katherine MacCord: A Chance to Change the World Read More »

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. Then, on March 19, 1944 Hitler ordered the Wehrmacht to occupy Hungary. By July, 437,000 Hungarian …

Against All Odds Read More »

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. With their 160-year affiliation with the hospital ending, members of the order asked themselves how they …

Mission of Mercy Read More »

Barbara Luderowski, The Mattress Factory

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. That didn’t work out. But they gave …

Barbara Luderowski, The Mattress Factory Read More »

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. They were going to a place about which they knew nothing. They didn’t know the language. It must have been very …

Jack Perkowski, ASIMCO Technologies Read More »

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. The Speaker of the House brought me in and said, “I want you to look at how Massachusetts funds and runs its public schools …

Mark Roosevelt, Superintendent Read More »

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. For some 20 years, he chaired a public-private corporation in his hometown that managed the $7 …

Riverlife CEO: Lisa Schroeder Read More »

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. Admittedly, there’s nothing as boring as someone else’s family. Yet …

Family is Everything Read More »

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. When I arrived at the Pittsburgh airport, I noticed something that stayed with me. Two nuns were …

Manfred Honeck, Music Director Read More »

Top