Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Look Back: 32 Years Celebrating Great Pittsburghers

Since 1986, Pittsburgh Magazine has recognized exceptional individuals or organizations as Pittsburghers of the Year. The recipients of these annual awards have made unmeasurable contributions to our city and region. Here, we revisit each winner and find out where they are now.



(page 1 of 3)

2011-2017

2017 Kelly Frey.
The WTAE-TV news anchor and mother of two, including a son with extra needs, was named Pittsburgher of the Year for her brave and public stance after revealing, at age 43, she had breast cancer. Her frank, educational on-air announcement of her diagnosis sparked hundreds of thousands of comments on social media that called the anchor an inspiration to others. She finished radiation treatments in 2017 and chemo in the spring of 2018. As she did throughout treatment, she remains on air today. —JS
 

2016 The Pittsburgh Penguins. 
After winning the Stanley Cup Finals against the San Jose Sharks in 2016 — and bringing together the city in a frenzy of excitement — the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team accepted the Pittsburghers of the Year title with deference to their fans, who, according to Pens CEO and President David Morehouse, made the designation possible. “We are who our fans are, and our fans are some of the greatest fans in the world,” he told the magazine. —JS
 

2015 Karen Wolk Feinstein, Morgan O’Brien, Billy Porter.
To celebrate 30 years of recognizing exceptional individuals, Pittsburgh Magazine chose three winners in 2015. Karen Wolk Feinstein was honored for shepherding the Jewish Healthcare Foundation through its 25-year evolution into a national voice for patient safety and health care quality. She continues to lead JHF as president and chief executive officer. Morgan O’Brien was chosen after emerging as the region’s foremost economic development champion, investing time and resources both as Allegheny Conference on Community Development chairman and as Peoples Natural Gas CEO and president, a position he still holds. Today, he chairs The Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of directors for The Pittsburgh Foundation. Billy Porter was honored for his artistic talent and triumphs, as well as his ongoing support and promotion of the arts in Pittsburgh and nationally. The Tony and Grammy winner dropped his latest studio album, “Billy Porter Presents The Soul of Richard Rodgers,” in 2017.   —JS
 

2014 The Fred Rogers Company.
For its application of 21st-century media technologies, its reinvigoration of the beloved legacy of PBS series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” through the animated, award-winning “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” — which premiered in 2012 — and its passionate advocacy for children, the Fred Rogers Co. and its talented staffers were named Pittsburghers of the Year in 2014.  —JS  
 

 

2013 &1988 Pittsburgh Pirates.
Following 20 consecutive, frustrating seasons of missing the playoffs, the Pittsburgh Pirates won an emotional Wild Card victory against the Cincinnati Reds at a packed PNC Park in 2013, propelling them to a five-game National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. While their run went no further, the team managed to win something else, the hearts of a “lost generation of fans." They also were named Pittsburghers of the Year in 1988, when the team finished second in the National League East. —JS
 

 

2012 &1999 Mario Lemieux.
A multiple winner, who also was named to the magazine’s 50 Greatest Pittsburghers of All Time list, Lemieux was honored as Pittsburgher of the Year in 2012 and 1999. Credited with saving hockey in Pittsburgh when he became an owner of the team in 1999, the hockey legend, a survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, turned his attention toward opening the Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers at UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center in 2012. In 2018, the nonprofit Mario Lemieux Foundation, which raises money for cancer research, celebrated its 25th year. Since its inception, it has raised nearly $25 million and built 36 Austin’s Playrooms for children and families in challenging medical situations.  —JS
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Steelers' GM Kevin Colbert Clears the Air on Big Ben

As a franchise QB with Hall-of-Fame credentials and as the only player in the locker room that’s actually won a Super Bowl in a Steelers’ uniform, Roethlisberger is perfectly positioned, Colbert insists, to run the show.

Impossible Burger 2.0 Comes to Pittsburgh

The plant-based meat alternative from Impossible Foods is a significant improvement on its initial offering.

Our Full 2019 Oscar Predictions

Somewhere beneath all the headlines and controversies, there are actual awards to hand out.

The 400-Word Review: Fighting With my Family

The rags-to-riches tale is an easy winner, when it's not a straight-up ad for WWE.

Pittsburgh's New Airport Design: What It Means for Travelers

A key goal of the new terminal at Pittsburgh International is to get passengers to their planes faster.

Defy Winter: 7 Great Ways to Get Moving in March

With spring (hopefully) right around the corner, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy gears up for a month of nature-centered activities.

Now Open Downtown: Magic Done Right

Liberty Magic, the new venue in the Cultural District, is all about perfect presentation.

The 400-Word Review: Paddleton

The Ray Romano/Mark Duplass dramedy is heartbreaking, but absolutely worth watching.

Perspectives: ‘He Wants to Talk to Ms. Betty’

An encounter at a healing garden in Larimer leads the writer to reflect on his own connection to others.

Astroid Brings Dialed-In Coffee to the South Side

Manager Emerson Graham's detailed approach to crafting a beverage makes for a tasty experience.

Watch: The First Episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

The landmark childrens television series was first broadcast 51 years ago this week.

Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Skip the Gift at this Wedding at the Carnegie Museum of Art

In a romantic twist on its Third Thursday events, the Carnegie Museum of Art is throwing a wedding this week, and everyone in Pittsburgh is invited.

See What Piece of Pittsburgh is Going to the Moon

Of all of the items proposed, this one earned the most votes.

The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Pittsburgh's New Airport Design: What It Means for Travelers

Pittsburgh's New Airport Design: What It Means for Travelers

A key goal of the new terminal at Pittsburgh International is to get passengers to their planes faster.

Comments

Defy Winter: 7 Great Ways to Get Moving in March

Defy Winter: 7 Great Ways to Get Moving in March

With spring (hopefully) right around the corner, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy gears up for a month of nature-centered activities.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Impossible Burger 2.0 Comes to Pittsburgh

Impossible Burger 2.0 Comes to Pittsburgh

The plant-based meat alternative from Impossible Foods is a significant improvement on its initial offering.

Comments

Astroid Brings Dialed-In Coffee to the South Side

Astroid Brings Dialed-In Coffee to the South Side

Manager Emerson Graham's detailed approach to crafting a beverage makes for a tasty experience.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

The 5 Best Seats at PPG Paints Arena

From ultra-premium experiences to bargains with great views, here are five perfect places to watch the Pens.

Comments

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Fitness: Five Great Trails to Run in the Fall in Pittsburgh

Don’t resign yourself to the gym treadmills just yet – fall is one of the best times of the year to get outside and pound the pavement, surrounded by falling leaves and the possibility of grabbing a hot latte on the way home.

Comments


Now Open Downtown: Magic Done Right

Now Open Downtown: Magic Done Right

Liberty Magic, the new venue in the Cultural District, is all about perfect presentation.

Comments

Ten Thoughts While Staring at a Golden Eagle

Ten Thoughts While Staring at a Golden Eagle

Reflections upon encountering Autumn, a four-year-old golden eagle now residing at the National Aviary.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers' GM Kevin Colbert Clears the Air on Big Ben

Steelers' GM Kevin Colbert Clears the Air on Big Ben

As a franchise QB with Hall-of-Fame credentials and as the only player in the locker room that’s actually won a Super Bowl in a Steelers’ uniform, Roethlisberger is perfectly positioned, Colbert insists, to run the show.

Comments

Pens Need More from Malkin More Than Anything

Pens Need More from Malkin More Than Anything

Given what he’s capable of, and what we’ve too often seen instead, Evgeni Malkin has been the Pens’ most under-achieving player.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2019 Oscar Predictions

Our Full 2019 Oscar Predictions

Somewhere beneath all the headlines and controversies, there are actual awards to hand out.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Fighting With my Family

The 400-Word Review: Fighting With my Family

The rags-to-riches tale is an easy winner, when it's not a straight-up ad for WWE.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

Sweet Designs: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner and Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments

An Email Spam Filter Delayed their Relationship for Years

An Email Spam Filter Delayed their Relationship for Years

Sometimes, the future love of your life is just around the corner, whether you know it or not.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Upscale Townhouses Slated for Strip District Near Produce Terminal

Upscale Townhouses Slated for Strip District Near Produce Terminal

Part of a three-phase plan, the 3- and 4-bedroom townhouses range in price from the mid-$600,000s up to $1 million.

Comments

Pittsburgh Textile Designer Launches Chic Wallpaper Line

Pittsburgh Textile Designer Launches Chic Wallpaper Line

Savannah Hayes adds six new wallpaper designs to her line of throw blankets, accessories and tea towels.

Comments