Pittsburgh is a wonderful city—we all know this. Did you know how many famous people hail from our great city though? Here are just five of the many individuals who helped shape Pittsburgh’s rich history.
1. Dan Rooney
Dan Rooney was president, owner and chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers before he passed away in 2017. During Rooney’s tenure with the Steelers, they won 15 division championships, eight AFC Championships and six Super Bowls. He has been in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for almost 20 years. In addition to football, Rooney served as ambassador to Ireland for the U.S.
2. Chip Ganassi
Chip Ganassi was born in Pittsburgh and later became a racecar driver and member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. He is now owner and CEO of Chip Ganassi Racing. He runs 14 cars with 18 drivers across six different touring series. He now resides in Fox Chapel.
3. Bruno Sanmartino
Italian professional wrestler Bruno Sanmartino was born in Italy and the youngest of seven children. In 1950, his mother and siblings joined his father as immigrants in Pittsburgh. He got involved in wrestling and quickly earned the nicknames “The Italian Strongman” and “The Strongest Man in the World.” In 1959, he set a bench press lift record of 565 lbs. He married his wife Carol that same year and the two were together until his death in 2018.
4. Adrian Cronauer
Cronauer was a U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class and radio DJ on the American Forces Network. He was the inspiration for the movie Good Morning, Vietnam starring Robin Williams. Cronauer was born in Pittsburgh and began his radio career at 12 during a Pittsburgh radio station’s amateur hour. He was a member of Mensa, a lifelong Republican and was credited with helping to found the University of Pittsburgh’s radio station, WPTS-FM.
5. Judith O’Dea
Actress Judith O’Dea was born in Pittsburgh in 1945. She is best known for her role as Barbra in the Pittsburgh favorite Night of the Living Dead. She since acted in other horror movies like Claustrophobia, Evil Deeds and October Moon. Now, she owns and operates O’Dea Communications, an oral communications firm.