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The amount of famous people from Pittsburgh is endless. There are so many in sports, music, movies and more who were either born in Pittsburgh or called it home for a significant amount of time. Here are just five of the many celebrities from Pittsburgh.
Boxer Paul Spadafora was born in Pittsburgh in 1975. Nicknamed “The Pittsburgh Kid,” Spadafora grew up in McKees Rocks. He had a tough childhood—his dad died of a drug overdose when Spadafora was in elementary school and he was homeless for a time as a teen. He left school in 9th grade to focus on boxing. Despite some trouble with alcohol and domestic issues, he managed to come back in the early 2000s. His record stands at 49-1-1 with 19 knockouts.
Former linebacker and coach Jim Haslett was born in Pittsburgh and attended college at IUP. He was selected to play for the Buffalo Bills in 1979 and later played for the New York Jets. He has coached for the Bengals, Florida Tuskers, New Orleans Saints and Saint Louis Rams.
NFL quarterback Jim Kelly played in the league for 11 years. He played the entirety of his career for the Buffalo Bills. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. While he was born in Pittsburgh, he grew up 60 miles northeast of the city in East Brady. Kelly also played basketball in high school. He is a devout Christian and many of his business ventures are committed to donating a percentage of proceeds to Hunter’s Hope Foundation.
Johnny Unitas was born in Pittsburgh and grew up in Mount Washington. In high school at St. Justin’s, he played halfback and quarterback. He spent the majority of his career in the NFL playing for the Baltimore Colts. For over 50 years he held the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass, until the Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke it in 2012.
Lois Weber was a silent film actress, screenwriter, producer and director. She was born in Pittsburgh in Allegheny City, which later became Northside. She has been credited with leading the way for the split screen technique to show simultaneous action. She did this in her 1913 movie Suspense. Along with her first husband Phillips Smalley, Weber was one of the first directors to experiment with sound in movies. Other accolades include the first American woman to direct a full-length feature film with The Merchant of Venice in 1914 and three years later, she became the first American female director to own a film studio.