Founded in 1758, Pittsburgh is one of America’s oldest major cities and was during its earliest years, considered America’s western frontier city, a role later occupied by St. Louis.
Positioned at the confluence of three rivers: the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio, made Pittsburgh a natural center for water-bourn commerce and industrialist Andrew Carnegie made it known for its steel and metals industries.
Pittsburgh has transitioned from a stodgy Steel City to the forefront of medicine, education, banking and corporate headquarters. It is internationally known for its pioneering role in medical research and technology in organ transplant surgery, diabetes, cardiology, and cardiothoracic surgery.
The business community is anchored by a number of Fortune 500 company headquarters: USX, Alcoa, HJ Heinz, Mellon Bank, PNC and Allegheny Teledyne.
The metro area population is 2.6 million with about 210,000 African Americans.
First U.S. Radio Station – KDKA
First U.S. Movie Theater – 1905
First Ferris Wheel in commercial use – 1893
First Robotics Institute
More than 10 million people visit Pittsburgh annually
Thunderbolt rollercoaster at Kennywood Park was awarded first place on the National Amusement Park Historical Association’s “Top Ten Coasters in the World” list.
A number of internationally and nationally notable people were born or made their mark here, including:
August Wilson – Esteemed Broadway playwright and and co-founder Kuntu Repertory Theatre
Dr. Vernell Lillie – Co-founder and Director Emeritus of Kuntu Repertory Theatre
Rob Penny – Kuntu Playwright-in-Residence and co-founder Kuntu Repertory Theatre
Josh Gibson – One of the greatest home run hitters in baseball; played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and the Homestead Grays
Lena Horne – Legendary jazz diva and actress
Billy Strayhorn – Without this great composer, it’s doubtful that Duke Ellington would have been as great
George Benson – One of the best Contemporary Jazz guitarists
Tony Dorsett – Heisman Trophy winner from U. of Pittsburgh and great NFL running back
Billy Eckstine – Jazz singer and bandleader
Art Blakey – Jazz pianist and bandleader; founded the Jazz Messengers
Errol Garner – Outstanding Jazz pianist
Dr. Nathan Davis – Great Jazz Saxaphonist and music instructor
Earl “Fatha” Hines – Succeeded Jelly Roll Morton as the most influential jazz pianist of the early 20th century
Stanley Turpentine – One of the finest Jazz tenor saxophonists, known for his “Hard Bop” style of play
Ray Brown – Grammy Award-winning bassist, played for Dizzie and Duke
Friar Augustus Taylor, Jr. – First Black minister to head a catholic church in Pittsburgh