Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 50 Greatest Pittsburghers of All Time

These are the people who, throughout the past 200-plus years, helped put Pittsburgh on the map. From familiar names to unexpected choices, these 50 made contributions both locally and nationally to fields ranging from business and government to culture and sports –– all of which put the spotlight on Pittsburgh.



(page 7 of 11)


 

31. Father Charles Owen Rice

For 71 years, Father Charles Owen Rice advocated for and ministered to those who fought for workers’ rights in Pittsburgh and beyond.

“The Labor Priest,” as he was known, was moved by the Depression-era plight of the millworkers in his first parish, St. Agnes in Oakland. Rice helped organize the Catholic Radical Alliance, an organization that lent its support to organized labor and, later, to the homeless.

Undeterred by pressure from other clergy members, Rice increasingly found himself at the center of the labor- and civil-rights movements, delivering the invocation at the first-ever convention of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), marching with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in New York City, speaking out against the Vietnam War, ministering to Pittsburgh during the decline of the steel industry and joining picket lines through the 1990s.

Rice died in 2005, eight days short of his 97th birthday. —HBK
 


 

32. Madalyn Murray O’Hair

Madalyn Murray O’Hair, born in Beechview in 1919, was one of the founders of the modern atheist movement in the United States and worked tirelessly throughout her life to ensure the Constitutional right to the separation of church and state.

Through her organization, American Atheists, Murray filed numerous lawsuits to ensure that one set of religious beliefs would not be imposed on others in the public space.

Her most notable court case, Murray v. Curlett (which later was consolidated with Abington School District v. Schempp) enshrined the notion that mandatory Bible readings in public schools was unconstitutional. She was murdered, along with her son Garth Murray and granddaughter Robin Murray O’Hair, in 1995. —HBK
 


Who was No. 51? Pittsburghers Who Just Missed Our Top 50 List
 


 

33. Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner (1874-1955) gained lasting pop-culture fame because of a hyper-valuable baseball card; two of the 57 authentic prints of his T206 1909-11 are valued at more than $2 million.

Wagner is more than just the face of a rare collectible, however — he is one of the greatest baseball players of all time, ranking 7th on the all-time hits list.

The shortstop, nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” for his speed on the bases, played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900-17, leading the team to its first World Series championship in 1909. In 1936, Wagner was one of the initial five players inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Flying Dutchman retired in 1917 but returned to the Pirates to work as the team’s hitting coach from 1933-52. —HBK
 


 

34. Dan Marino

Is Dan Marino the greatest quarterback of all time?

He led the NFL in pass attempts for five seasons and in completions for six. In the Miami Dolphins’ storied 1984 season, he threw for two or more touchdowns in a staggering 15 games. That was also the year Marino, born in Oakland, recorded the first-ever 5,000-yard season.

He’s bested in career passing yards only by Brady, Favre, Manning and Brees — despite the fact that all those guys played dozens more games than him.

In an era of dominant quarterbacks, Marino, 57, was the most reliable and accomplished; in a region known for producing more legendary arms than any other part of the country, Marino edges out the competition. The Dolphins legend is the king of the Cradle of Quarterbacks. —SC
 


 

35. Gene Kelly

Long before he was dancin’ and singin’ in the rain, Gene Kelly (1912-1996) was a Pittsburgh boy with dreams of playing shortstop for the Pirates.

The son of a traveling salesman father and an arts-loving mother, Kelly graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and spent years teaching at his family’s dance studio in Squirrel Hill before heading to New York City to search for work on Broadway.

After his breakout role in the musical “Pal Joey,” he landed in Hollywood, where he went on to star in hits such as “Anchors Aweigh” in 1945, “An American in Paris” in 1951 and, of course, “Singin’ in the Rain” in 1952.

Noted for his accessible, athletic dance style, Kelly was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1951 “in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.” —JS
 

The behind-the-scenes debates over the 50 Greatest Pittsburghers.
Read more here.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

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

The Latest

When & Where You Can Dump Your Junk (including old TVs)

Spring cleaning can be a challenge if you don't know where to dispose of clutter that trash collectors won't accept.

Beyond Pachelbel’s Canon: Wedding Music that Surprises

Ethnic songs, custom instrumentals and even Metallica made for memorable moments at these Pittsburgh-area weddings.

7 Pittsburgh Area Farms Where You can Order Produce Now

A roundup of our favorite Community Supported Agriculture shares.

What We're Reading in April

Books Editor Kristofer Collins reviews "Unlucky 21: The Saddest Stories and Games in Pittsburgh Sports History," Wicked Pittsburgh" and Alternate Histories' "Pittsburgh in Olden Times."

April 2019: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Your 10 best bets for this month include The Book of Mormon, Pop Punk Night and a Taste of Lawrenceville.

Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in April

An icon comes to town, and we celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month in style.

Swap Meet: Graham 2 Joins Bodiography in Horizons

‘Horizons’ presents a combination of original works and those of Pittsburgh native Martha Graham.

Perspectives: For Dad

A daughter struggles to accept the limitations of her ailing father.

Something Old is Something New (to You) At the Vintage Home Mixer

Taking place in Lawrenceville, the event features vintage furniture, fashion, textiles and other home goods all under one roof.

Watch: Sid and Geno Break out the Big Guns

Think Sid is good in the shootout? Watch him with a T-Shirt cannon.

Local Filmmakers and Global Issues in Row House Outdoors Week

Documentary films highlighting environmental struggles get the spotlight at the Lawrenceville theater.

The 400-Word Review: The Dirt

Netflix's Mötley Crüe biopic offers plenty of rock-star mayhem, but no insight or substance.

An Impressive Duck Lands at Spork in Bloomfield

Executive chef Chris Frangiadis introduces a tableside classic to the restaurant's menu.

Summer Camp Helps Children Deal with Loss

Now accepting applications, Experience Camp welcomes children who have lost immediate family members.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


When & Where You Can Dump Your Junk (including old TVs)

When & Where You Can Dump Your Junk (including old TVs)

Spring cleaning can be a challenge if you don't know where to dispose of clutter that trash collectors won't accept.

Comments

Watch: Sid and Geno Break out the Big Guns

Watch: Sid and Geno Break out the Big Guns

Think Sid is good in the shootout? Watch him with a T-Shirt cannon.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
7 Pittsburgh Area Farms Where You can Order Produce Now

7 Pittsburgh Area Farms Where You can Order Produce Now

A roundup of our favorite Community Supported Agriculture shares.

Comments

An Impressive Duck Lands at Spork in Bloomfield

An Impressive Duck Lands at Spork in Bloomfield

Executive chef Chris Frangiadis introduces a tableside classic to the restaurant's menu.

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


After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

The lauded Lawrenceville hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

Comments

It's 2019. We Need a Modern, Dine-In Cinema

It's 2019. We Need a Modern, Dine-In Cinema

Pittsburgh is long overdue for a new movie palace where you can get an actual meal brought to your seat.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Duke’s Williamson Transcends the Madness

Duke’s Williamson Transcends the Madness

Freshman Zion Williamson makes this year’s NCAA Tournament, always fascinating on its own merits, even more of a can’t-miss event.

Comments

Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Brown and Bell are Gone – What the Steelers Need to do Next

Whether the Steelers are better or worse off, whether they’re culpable or deserve to be applauded for finally resolving two of their biggest problems remains to be seen.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: The Dirt

The 400-Word Review: The Dirt

Netflix's Mötley Crüe biopic offers plenty of rock-star mayhem, but no insight or substance.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Us

The 400-Word Review: Us

Jordan Peele's new film is terrifying, essential viewing.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Beyond Pachelbel’s Canon: Wedding Music that Surprises

Beyond Pachelbel’s Canon: Wedding Music that Surprises

Ethnic songs, custom instrumentals and even Metallica made for memorable moments at these Pittsburgh-area weddings.

Comments

Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Comfort, mobility and style were all considerations for these brides’ perfect wedding wardrobe.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Something Old is Something New (to You) At the Vintage Home Mixer

Something Old is Something New (to You) At the Vintage Home Mixer

Taking place in Lawrenceville, the event features vintage furniture, fashion, textiles and other home goods all under one roof.

Comments

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Comments