7 More Legendary Women who Shaped Pittsburgh’s History

Photo by Zachary via the Pittsburgh Beautiful App

The first post wasn’t enough—there were so many more Pittsburgh women who shaped our great city that we had to do another. Here are seven more of the many diverse and interesting women who had a place in Pittsburgh’s rich history.

1. Cherie Johnson

’80s and ’90s kids will recognize Cherie Johnson as Punky Brewster’s best friend Cherie and Laura Winslow’s best friend on the ABC TGIF sitcom Family Matters. She was born in Pittsburgh and spends her free time working on children’s charities and the Alzheimer’s Association board.

2. Pauline Wormser Frank

Pauline Wormser Frank was a German Jewish immigrant who came to the U.S. in the 1840s. Her husband and she were among the first Jews to move to the Pittsburgh area and were founding members of the first Jewish synagogue. Pauline and her husband William helped create the foundation that led our city to where it is today.

3. Jean Hamilton Walls

Jean Hamilton Walls was the first African American to enroll at the University of Pittsburgh and receive a Ph.D from there in 1938. Walls also earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at Pitt in 1910. She served as the executive director of the Centre Avenue branch of the YWCA in Pittsburgh.

4. Keisha N. Blain

University of Pittsburgh associate professor Keisha N. Blain is an award-winning historian. Her broad interdisciplinary interests and specializations are in African American history, the modern African diaspora as well as women’s and gender studies.

5. Gillian Jacobs

Actress Gillian Jacobs is best known for her role as Britta Perry on Community. She was raised in Mount Lebanon She attended classes at the Pittsburgh Playhouse while growing up. In addition to Community, Jacobs also had a recurring role on the HBO show Girls.

6. Martha Richards Conley

Martha Richards Conley was the University of Pittsburgh Law School’s first African American female graduate. She also was the first African American female lawyer admitted to practice in Allegheny County. She was employed by the U.S. Steel Corporation for nearly 30 years and retired as senior general attorney.

7. Patti Deutsch

Patti Deutsch was born in Pittsburgh. She was well-known for her voiceover work on shows like The Smurfs. She also provided voices for Monsters, Inc. as well as Mata in The Emperor’s New Groove. Deutsch had a cameo in the 1983 film Mr. Mom (she played “The Deli Girl).

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