Originally published March 18th, 2016.
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Pittsburgh turns 200 today and that is a big deal! Despite her age, she has never looked better (pssst. thanks New York Times). In honor of this special day, we are going to honor a few names commonly heard in the 'burgh. Here are some of our favorite famous (and honorary) Pittsburghers:
1. FRED ROGERS
Won't you be my neighbor? Fred Rogers is someone that every Pittsburgher is proud to be associated with. Everyone grew up watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Fred Rogers has endless accolades and completely changed children's educational television... not to mention was an amazingly kind and genuine human. Mister Rogers was heavily active within city of Pittsburgh. You can still visit the neighborhood today!
Enjoy this throwback video of the theme song:
2. ANDY WARHOL
If you don't feel a weird sense of ownership over Andy Warhol you probably aren't really from Pittsburgh. Artist. Icon. Legend. Andy Warhol was so many things...
3. ROBERTO CLEMENTE
Forever the retired number of 21 on the Pirates, Roberto Clemente played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 18 seasons. Decorated with endless baseball accolades, Clemente was also an extremely dedicated philanthropist and died in a plane crash en route to Nicaragua while attempting to provide support to earthquake victims. Although born in Puerto Rico, his monumental impact on the city makes Roberto Clemente an honorary Pittsburgher. The Roberto Clemente Bridge is a staple to the pittsburgh nighttime skyline.
4. ANDREW CARNEGIE
How could you forget this guy when his name is around the entire city? Carnegie Library, Carnegie Science Center, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Mellon University... need I go on? Although he was born in Scotland, Andrew Carnegie is an honorary Pittsburgher for many reasons. Carnegie Steel Company gave Pittsburgh it's "Steel City" reputation, and for that, he must be remembered.
Does anyone else get in fights with people from New York about how to pronounce Carnegie? It's "Car-negg-ee", not "Car-nah-ghee", okay?
His longtime business "partner" is another familiar name...
5. HENRY CLAY FRICK
Have you ever enjoyed a stroll in Frick Park? Have you every had a Mother Day's brunch at the Frick Cafe? Have you every gazed at the Frick Mansion while stuck in traffic on Penn Ave? If so, you must be familiar with this name! I can't even pretend to start the chronology of Frick and Carnegie in Pittsburgh, so go pick up a book (or two or three), and learn more about this duo.
Here is a photo of a charming lunch at the Frick. This is one of my favorite spots in Pittsburgh to dine. Get a table outside, and ALWAYS order dessert.
6. GENE KELLY
Gene Kelly is one of those, "Oh, really? He's from Pittsburgh?" ones.
But yes, he is! Thanks for making us want to sing every time it rains, Gene.
7. MICHAEL KEATON
Another great Pittsburgh actor. Who isn't proud of Birdman (and Batman)?
8. RACHEL CARSON
The world can't thank Rachel Carson for the impact she had on environmental conservation. Technically from Springdale, Rachel Carson is most remembered for her book Silent Spring and the subsequent ban on the pesticide DDT in the United States. You can visit her homestead! Bring a picnic lunch but be sure to clean up after yourself.
9. HENRY HEINZ
There is one type of ketchup in the world. It is Heinz Ketchup. Anything else is simply not ketchup. Henry Heinz started the Heinz Company (in Sharpsburg) which led to Heinz Ketchup. Where would we be in life without Heinz Ketchup? More importantly, now that Heinz has merged with Kraft, where would we be in life without Kraft Mac'n'Cheese?"
10. Billy ECKSTINE
Pittsburgh's jazz history is something to be proud of. Enjoy this sweet tune by jazz legend and life-long Pittsburgher Billy Eckstine.
Cheers, Pittsburgh! Thanks for 200 great years!
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