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Pittsburgh Phil: The Greatest Plunger of Them All

Pittsburgh Phil: The Greatest Plunger of Them All

There is no such thing as luck. It’s a fancy name for being always at our duty, and so sure to be ready when good time comes. ~Edward George Bulwer-Lytton Pittsburgh’s past is replete with colorful characters, spectacular sportsmen, and stellar geniuses, but George E. Smith was all three. Smith, known as Pittsburgh Phil, was the greatest plunger of his time, possibly ever. No, he was

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All Hail Emperor Chaz! Coach Chuck Noll Built the Foundation for the Steelers Dynasty

All Hail Emperor Chaz! Coach Chuck Noll Built the Foundation for the Steelers Dynasty

Very few people throughout history have had the title “emperor” bestowed upon them. There’s the Roman heads of state, Napoleon, and Chuck Noll. Although not a leader of a country, the late Steelers coach headed the Steelers nation and led his team to four Super Bowl victories, more than any other coach in NFL history. He held that title solely until 2015 when Patriots Coach

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How a Mid-Western Boy in a Dress Found a Home in Pittsburgh

How a Mid-Western Boy in a Dress Found a Home in Pittsburgh

Caustic, vulgar, outrageous, funny, charming, honest, insightful, successful, tragic, Sharon Needles could be described by any of those terms–and she could also be called a Pittsburgher. You may not be aware of it, but Pittsburgh is home to one of the most famous drag queens in the world: Sharon Needles. For a person who admits that she doesn’t feel welcome most anywhere, Needles is comfortable

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Mayor Sophie Masloff

Mayor Sophie Masloff

An Unlikely Mayor Jewish, a septuagenarian, and a woman without a college education, Sophie Masloff was a mayor unlike any other Pittsburgh had seen before. While she may have been unlike any other mayor, she was quintessentially Pittsburgh. Her life embodied many of the things that define Pittsburgh and those who live here, making her one of the city’s most colorful, most memorable, and one

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Pittsburgh Startup ModCloth: Turning the Women’s Retail Clothing World Inside Out

Pittsburgh Startup ModCloth: Turning the Women’s Retail Clothing World Inside Out

When Susan Gregg Koger was in high school, she had no clue that her penchant for vintage clothing would lead to founding one of the nation’s fastest growing retailers. The Florida native came to Pittsburgh in 2002 along with her then boyfriend Eric Koger (now her husband) to attend Carnegie Mellon University. The Floridians’ need for warm winter clothing led them to thrift stores, where

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Randyland

Randyland

An adage advises to “bloom where you are planted.” In the case of Randy Gilson, he not only bloomed but also painted, created, and transformed a drab, depressing neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side into a whimsical wonderland known as Randyland. A little over 30 years ago, Gilson, 59, rented an apartment in the Mexican War Streets on the North Side. Gilson, who is a waiter,

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A Promise Benefits Pittsburgh Breast Cancer Patients

A Promise Benefits Pittsburgh Breast Cancer Patients

When Diana Napper makes a promise, she keeps it. In 1990, her best friend Carol Jo Weiss Friedman lost her battle with breast cancer. Before Carol Jo succumbed to the disease, Diana promised her that she would pursue a lifelong dream of designing jewelry and opening a jewelry store, selling her designs that would fund a hospice in Carol Jo’s name. Diana honored that promise

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Q&A with The Glimmer of Hope Founder, Diana Napper

Q&A with The Glimmer of Hope Founder, Diana Napper

In 1994, Diana Napper founded The Glimmer of Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer. She began this foundation to honor a promise she made to her friend Carol Jo Weiss Friedman before she lost her battle with breast cancer. Initially, Diana had designed a small piece of jewelry, a Swarovksi teardrop pin capped with a pearl to symbolize hope over

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A Woman Unafraid of the Trenches

A Woman Unafraid of the Trenches

If Pittsburgh were to have a royal family, it would have to be the Hillmans. But unlike Queen Elizabeth, who is a benign figurehead presiding over ribbon-cuttings, the late Elsie Hillman donned a headband instead of a crown and went into the trenches to make a difference in the world. A Sense of Service is Instilled in Hillman Elsie Hilliard Hillman spent decades getting her

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Spearheading the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Spearheading the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Today, many people are aware of the scourge of human trafficking, but in 2003, that wasn’t the case. That year, Mary C. Burke, Ph.D., professor of Psychology at Carlow University, watched a report of an undercover journalist as he was approached by children offering to have sex with him. This report shined a light on the despicable, shadowy world of human trafficking. The Program Director

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