Profiles

Money, Power & Purpose

Harvard played its final game of the 1911 baseball season the day after graduation. With Harvard up 41 and one out to go, team captain and star pitcher Charles B. “Chick” McLaughlin called time, for a substitution at first base.

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…

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.

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…

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…

The Business of Politics

The year was 1955, the place the long bar at the Carlton House Hotel. Standing as bookends were Pirates sportscaster, Bob “the Gunner” Prince and KDKA newscaster, curly-​haired Bill Burns. Both men were serious drinkers, but the Gunner, resplendent in a canary yellow blazer with an ever-​present screwdriver in hand…

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.

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.

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.

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.

George Westinghouse: The Mystery

It was a dreary fall day when, on a friend’s suggestion, I visited the George Westinghouse Museum in Wilmerding. It is housed inside the former Westinghouse Air Brake offices, a gray stone building with a hint of the medieval, appropriately named “the Castle.”

The Wright Way to Fly

A top Kill Devil Hill on North Carolina’s windswept Outer Banks stands a massive granite monument that reads: “In commemoration of the conquest of the air by the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Conceived by genius; achieved by dauntless resolution and incomparable faith.“

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.
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