What qualifies as Pittsburgh Famous? #NaBloPoMo2019

The Prompt – There are lots of folks described as “Pittsburgh famous” – what does that phrase mean to you? Please list a few Pittsburgh famous folks that most people might not immediately think about.


Pittsburgh famous includes high-profile local folks, often members of the media and politicians, but also artists, creators, quirky neighbors who are famous within the bounds of the Pittsburgh nation. It can also be used to indicate unlocking an achievement tied to fame or notoriety such as being mentioned in the local paper or included in an art project.

Some folks I think of as Pittsburgh famous include, but not limited to these folks. Remember this is a compliment, an honor, not a lark.

  • Jason Sauer, artist
  • Rachel Bovier, poet
  • Bumper Bike Guy, local person who rides his bike with a bumper affixed to the front of it
  • Foo Conner, photographer
  • Summer Lee, State Assembly Representative
  • Edgar Snyder/Ken Steidl and Kenny Steinberg, lawyers with amped media presence
  • Dave DiCello, photographer
  • Dan and Moeun McSwiggen, restauranteurs
  • Hawks & Eagles, birds nesting while being filmed 24/7
  • Anne, the Northside Common Ministries resident therapy dog
  • Tony Norman, journalist
  • Holly Hood, musician
  • Phat Man Dee, musician
  • Ed Pinto, hard-to-define
  • Kierra Darshell, Pittsburgh’s First Lady of Drag
  • Ft. Pitt Tunnels, view

It is also important to acknowledge the Pittsburgh-famous makers whose work elevates someone into the pantheon of this group by incorporating them into their work, social media, or otherwise shouting them out.

  • Every journalist, blogger, photographer, talk show host in the region
  • Joe Wos, cartoonist and mazemaker
  • Rob Rogers, cartoonist
  • Natalie Bencivenga, journalist (and SEEN column editor)
  • Damon Young, writer
  • Adam Shuck, curator of news
  • Amber Sloan, activist
  • Pittsburgh Foundation/Heinz Endowments
  • Pittsburgh novelty song writers

Am I Pittsburgh famous? The multiple tattered newspaper clippings from over the years suggest, possibly I am.

Laura and I have a long-standing joke about this. We were at a gala event, talking with a friend who was herself Pittsburgh famous. The Post-Gazette seen column photographer asked us to pose for a photo, she was in the middle with us on either side. Click.

We open the paper on Monday to see that the editors had literally carved us out of the image while touting her attendance at the event. That’s humbling – ha. So when we are both listed in the SEEN column with a photo for supporting some cause we actually truly support, we can retire I suppose.

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