Profiles

Death Becomes Her

“Why?” is the obvious question: dead bodies of all ages (arriving daily), grieving families, being surrounded by sadness and despair, not to mention dealing with the more unseemly but necessary “physical” aspects of the job. As a family business—sure, that makes sense—family pressure can go a long way, and there is no shortage of customers, …

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Judith Hansen O’Toole, Art Lover

I was born in Minneapolis, one of four sisters. My father was a college professor who was finishing his Ph.D. in American studies at the University of Minnesota, after which he took a job at Penn State. So, I actually grew up in State College, and was a “faculty brat” there. My mother was a …

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Helen Hanna Casey, Real Estate Maven

I grew up in Shadyside, the daughter of Howard W. Hanna Jr., and Anne Freyvogel Hanna, with an older brother and younger sister. Eventually, all three of us went to small Catholic colleges. My brother, Howard W. “Hoddy” Hanna III, to which he has added Howard W. Hanna IV and V, attended John Carroll in …

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Ahmad Jamal, Jazz Master

I’ll bet that I’m the only musician ever to record a CD simply titled “Pittsburgh,” which is a tribute to my beloved hometown. It’s a “miracle city,” really. When it comes to industry, culture and the arts, Pittsburgh has contributed more to the world than most people can begin to imagine. Pittsburgh was once home …

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J. Kevin McMahon, Arts & Culture Executive

It’s not a secret, but I actually was born in Pittsburgh. I don’t talk about it, not because I’m not proud of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh is great. But in Pittsburgh, if you say you were born here, everybody expects you to know everything about it. When I was a little kid, my family moved, so I …

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Barbara Baker

2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Barbara Baker’s leadership as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. On this occasion, Pittsburgh Quarterly posed a series of questions to Baker, a doctor of veterinary medicine with an MBA, about her tenure and the future of the zoo. What brought you to Pittsburgh and …

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