Local Notable People
Ailes, Roger E. May 15, 1940 – May 18, 2017
Television Executive/Media Consultant (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Ailes founded Fox News (debuting in 1996), acting as chairman and CEO for two decades. In a few short years, Fox became the most-watched cable news network, surpassing CNN in 2002. Mr. Ailes was also a media consultant for several dozen political campaigns, including the winning presidential candidacies of Richard Nixon (1968), Ronald Reagan (1984), and George H. W. Bush (1988), as well as an advisor for the Donald Trump campaign. Faced with sexual harassment allegations by several female colleagues, Mr. Ailes resigned in July 2016, walking away with a payout of $40 million. He died several months later at his home in Palm Beach, FL. (Vindicator 1-19-2014, 7-7-2016, 5-19-2017; New York Times 5-18-2017; The Loudest Voice in the Room).
Allen, Betty March 17, 1930 – June 22, 2009
Opera Singer (Born Campbell, OH)
Ms. Allen’s went into foster care at age 12 when her mother died. She attended both South High and Rayen High School, where she graduated in 1944. She sang in choir but her talent was not recognized until she attended Central State University: one of her professors was an operatic tenor and encouraged her to do postgraduate studies at the Hartford School of Music. Conductor Leonard Bernstein chose her to sing his Jeremiah symphony at Tanglewood in 1951. She later won the Marian Anderson Award and a Whitney fellowship. She has performed with every major U.S. orchestra and around the world, hailed for her beautiful mezzo-soprano voice. Her interest in inner-city youth led her to become director of the Harlem School of the Arts in 1979. Later, she served as President Emeritus of their Board of Directors. Throughout her life she sat on the Boards of many cultural institutions in New York City, including Carnegie Hall, New York City Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Theater Development Fund, and the Manhattan School of Music. (Vindicator 10-16-1960, 2-5-1977; New York Times 8-19-1973, 6-26-2009[obit]; New York Amsterdam News 4-12-2001; Current Biography 1990).
Allen, Edward Joseph November 13, 1907 – January 6, 1990
Chief of Police (Born Erie, PA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Youngstown Mayor Charles P. Henderson appointed FBI officer Edward J. Allen as Youngstown police chief in 1948. Within 6 years, he had cleared the city of ties to organized crime by cleaning up the Youngstown Police Department, cracking down on gambling and prostitution, severing ties between local politicians and gangsters, and closing the Jungle Inn in Hubbard, “one of the biggest gambling dens in the Midwest.” For this he was featured in the November 1950 Reader’s Digest article “They Busted the Rackets in Youngstown.” In 1953, he left Youngstown to become director of enforcement for the Ohio Department of Liquor Control. From 1955 to 1972 he was police chief of Santa Ana, CA. After abortion was legalized in 1973, he was arrested twice for taking part in anti-abortion demonstrations. He wrote Merchants of Menace – The Mafia: A Study of Organized Crime in 1962. (Vindicator 4-17-1985, 1-12-1990; Congressional Tribute 10-25-1990).
Ames, Leon Kessling “Red” August 2, 1882 – October 8, 1936
Baseball Player (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Ames pitched in Major League Baseball for 17 seasons, including in the 1905, 1911 and 1912 World Series. He played for the New York Giants (1903-1913), the Cincinnati Reds (1913-1915), the St. Louis Cardinals (1915-1919), and the Philadelphia Phillies (1919). He used a wild, “dramatic” curveball.
(Business Journal Mid-January 2000; Total Baseball).
Arroyo, Harry 1957 –
Boxer (Born Youngstown, OH)
A graduate of South High School, Mr. Arroyo began amateur boxing at age 13 and won 8 regional Golden Glove titles. As a professional, he won 7 Golden Glove titles. He became the International Boxing Federation Lightweight champion by defeating Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown in 1984. He successfully defended his title in several bouts only to lose it a year later to Jimmy Paul. He is now involved with a Boxing Ministry whose aim is to bring Christianity to boxers. (Vindicator 4-16-1984, 2-20-1987, 2-19-2000, 5-12-2002; The Other Guy from Youngstown 3-17-2014).
Babich, Bob May 5, 1947 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Babich attended Campbell Memorial High School. Playing at Miami University of Ohio, he was named All-American and “won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top collegiate linebacker.” He played for the San Diego Chargers (1969-1972) and the Cleveland Browns (1973-1978), but was forced to retire due to injuries. (Vindicator 5-26-1998; Total Football II; Full Tilt to the NFL: Steel Valley Heroes).
Bach, Catherine March 1, 1954 –Actress (Born Warren, OH)
Ms. Bach’s family left Warren when she was a young child and moved to a ranch in Rapid City, South Dakota. She studied arts at UCLA where she supplemented her income by making clothes for friends and theater groups. She is most widely known for her role as Daisy Duke in the television series, The Dukes of Hazzard, but she also played Margo Dutton in African Skies, and joined the cast of the television soap opera, The Young and the Restless in 2012. She is well-known for her support of children. In 1998 she and her husband Peter Lopez founded “C.O.A.C.H For Kids,” which provides free, mobile medical services for children and their families in low-income areas of Los Angeles County. Ms. Bach launched a line of jewelry and clothing, including popular denim products and the well-known “daisy dukes” shorts. (Vindicator 7-2-2017; www.imdb.com; https://www.facebook.com/catherinebachofficial).
Baker, Floyd October 10, 1916 – November 16, 2004
Baseball Player (Born Luray, VA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Baker was the starting shortstop for the newly formed farm team, the Youngstown Browns, in 1939 when he met his wife, Anne. Making Youngstown his home base, he played for the St. Louis Browns (1943-1944, 1944 World Series), the Chicago White Sox (1945-1951), the Washington Senators (1952-1953), the Boston Red Sox (1953-1954), and the Philadelphia Phillies (1954-1955). After his retirement, he was a scout and coach for the Minnesota Twins. (Vindicator 2-16-1998, 11-17-2004[obit]; Total Baseball).
Bedell, Chester December 6, 1826 – September 1, 1908
Atheist (Born Sandystone, NJ; resident of Mahoning County)
Mr. Bedell claimed that there was no God. Before his death he remarked “if there be a God or any truth in the Bible, let my body be inhabited with snakes.” After his burial, snakes appeared on his grave in North Benton, OH. There is now a bronze statue at the gravesite. (Vindicator 9-2-1908).
Beede, Dwight “Dike” January 23, 1903 – December 13, 1972
Football Coach (Born Youngstown, OH)
Coach Beede was the first football coach for Youngstown State University. He started the football program in 1938, had his first undefeated season in 1941, and remained the football coach for 35 years. He is credited with creating the penalty flag now used at all football games. Unable to distinguish between the horn used for penalties and the whistle used to stop the play, he asked his wife, Irma, to sew squares of red and white cloth together. With a lead sinker for weight, the first penalty flags were tossed in Youngstown on October 17, 1941 at the Youngstown College-Oklahoma City game. Official Jack McPhee kept his flag and used it at the Ohio State-Iowa game, after which the Big Ten adopted it. The NFL began using penalty flags in 1948. In 1957, he was named “Small College Coach of the Year,” and was inducted into the Helms Foundation Coaches Hall of Fame in 1966. Forced into mandatory retirement at age 70, he accidentally drowned a month later when he fell into the Little Beaver Creek, which ran through his Columbiana farm property. (Vindicator 4-24-1982; Ohio Magazine 12-1985; YSU Athletics Hall of Fame; YSU Sports Penalty Flag History).
Bell, Ralph Ross “Boots Bell” January 22, 1933 – July 15, 1993
Radio Disc Jockey (Born Cleveland, OH)
Boots Bell was a legendary rock radio disc jockey whose influence was felt far beyond Youngstown. He got his start in Fredonia, NY on WBUZ, coming to Youngstown in 1959 to join WHOT. His unique voice and style made him one of the most popular radio personalities ever to work in the Mahoning Valley. Success led to television work, most notably as the host of WYTV’s TV Dance Party. Boots Bell worked for WNIO, WCFT, WNRB, and CD106. His freelance work as Bell Productions included commercial spots nationwide. Bell served as an instructor at YSU and gave many charitable appearances on the local Jerry Lewis Telethon, the Soap Box Derby, and the Trumbull County Fair. Many still remember his famous radio sign-off: “Yes, indeed, doody-daddy. Have yourself a happy!” (Vindicator 7-16-1993[obit], 2-23-2012; Congressional Record 10-7-1993).
Bell, Robert “Kool” October 8, 1950 –
Bell, Ronald November 1, 1951 –
Musicians (Born Youngstown, OH)
The Bells lived in Youngstown until moving to New Jersey in 1961. In 1964, Kool formed a rock group with his brother and friends, which became known as Kool and the Gang in 1969. Kool was the leader and bass player, while Ronald played the tenor saxophone and produced. They had three gold singles, but found their “funk” music fading in popularity as the disco craze started. A new band member and lead singer, J. T. Taylor, helped to change their sound and the group churned out hit records, including the widely popular “Ladies Night,” “Too Hot,” and “Celebration.” The group won a Grammy in 1979 for “Open Season,” when the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack on which it was included won Album of the Year. They were named Best Soul Group at the American Music Awards in 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1987. In 1999 they formed KTFA Entertainment, Inc., a production and record company. The group still performs throughout the world. (Vindicator 11-30-1986; Contemporary Musicians; Rock Stars Encyclopedia; koolandthegang.com).
Benkner, Charlotte November 16, 1889 – May 14, 2004
World’s Oldest Person (Born in Germany; resident of Mahoning County)
Mrs. Benkner was born in Germany and moved with her family to New York at age 6. She and her husband, Karl, were married for 56 years and had no children. After living in Tucson, she and her sister, Matilda O’Hare, moved to Glenellen Senior Suites and Villas-Lakeside, a retirement home in North Lima, OH. Her sister passed away in January 2004 at the age of 99. The Guinness Book of Records recognized Mrs. Benkner as the oldest person in the world on November 13, 2003. However, a woman from Puerto Rico bumped her to second oldest on April 22, 2004. She died at the age of 114 and is buried in Peekskill, New York. (Vindicator 5-17-2004).
Bennard, George February 4, 1873 – October 10, 1958
Minister/Composer (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Bennard is author and composer of the hymn The Old Rugged Cross. A 20-foot “old rugged cross” stands beside the lake in Lake Park Cemetery in Bennard’s memory. He is buried in Reed City, MI. (Vindicator 2-22-1959).
Berry, Plimpton Ross “P. Ross” June 1, 1834 – May 12, 1917
Brick Mason/Stone Mason/Contractor (Born Mount Pleasant, PA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
By the age of sixteen, P. Ross Berry already had distinguished himself as an highly skilled brick mason in New Castle, PA, where he was hired by Lawrence County to undertake much of the brickwork for the new county courthouse. After marriage in 1858, he and his wife Mary came to Youngstown, where he was contracted to build the Rayen School. For the next half-century, Mr. Berry oversaw the construction of some of the most beautiful and robust structures in Youngstown, including: the Opera House, the Reuben McMillan Public Library, the First Presbyterian Church, Mahoning County Courthouse, Youngstown City Jail, Governor Tod’s Mansion, the Parish of Saint Columba Church, and the Tod House Hotel. Mr. Berry had a gift for style and form, and gained the admiration and respect of his employees, still laying brick by hand until the end of his life. (Vindicator 5-13-1917[obit], 11-6-2006; www.findagrave.com; African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary; www.OhioMemory.org).
Biggers, Earl Derr August 26, 1884 – April 5, 1933
Author (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Biggers attended Warren High School and was creator and editor-in-chief of the school’s first magazine, The Cauldron. He is better known as the creator of the fictional detective Charlie Chan. His first Charlie Chan novel, The House Without A Key, was serialized in the Saturday Evening Post in 1925. He went on to write five more Charlie Chan novels, which were adapted for feature films, television, an animated series, and a comic book. (Vindicator 4-5-1936; Contemporary Authors Online).
Bilon, Michael Patrick “Pat” August 29, 1947 – January 27, 1983
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Bilon played the alien “E.T.” in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and “Little Pat” in Under the Rainbow (1981). He was the smallest person in the cast, standing 2 feet 10 inches tall. Prior to going Hollywood, Mr. Bilon worked as a bouncer, an announcer for local radio stations, and a radio dispatcher for the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department. (Vindicator 1-27-1983; www.imdb.com).
Blaney, Dave October 24, 1962 –
NASCAR Driver (Born Hartford, OH)
Mr. Blaney was the 1995 World of Outlaws champion. After four years in the Busch Series, he joined the Winston Cup circuit in 1999, where he drove Jasper Engines No. 77 Ford Taurus until 2003. He drove the No. 23 Bill Davis Dodge and, in 2004, briefly drove Richard Childress Racing No. 30 AOL Chevy. In 2005, he started driving No. 7 Jack Daniels Chevrolet, also for Childress. He returned to Bill Davis Racing in 2006, driving the No. 22 Dodge. In 2009, he drove No. 66 Toyota for Prism Motorsports. He drove No. 36 Chevrolet, then the No. 7 Chevrolet for Tony Baldwin Racing. He won the first pole of his career on February 21, 2003 at Rockingham and his second at the Nextel Open in Concord, NC on May 21, 2004. He and his father, Lou, became co-owners of the Sharon Speedway in 2002. He also owns a sprint car team on the O’Reilly World of Outlaws series. As his son Ryan’s racing career began to take off, Dave Blaney went into semi-retirement. He currently lives in North Carolina. (Vindicator 1-17-2002, 5-18-2003, 6-3-2003, 6-24-2004, 8-21-2004, 12-24-2005; NASCAR Encyclopedia).
Bloomberg, Stuart 1949 –
TV Producer/Executive (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Bloomberg graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University and got a Master of Arts in cinema from the University of Southern California. He joined ABC television in 1978 as a program executive, and in the twenty years he worked for them developed shows such as The Wonder Years, Roseanne, Home Improvement, NYPD Blue, The Drew Carey Show and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He worked his way up to chairman of ABC Entertainment before leaving. He now has a production deal with ABC and Touchstone Television. (Vindicator 6-4-2000).
Bodine, Bill 1950 –
Songwriter (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Bodine attended Wilson High School and Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. He’s considered to be one of the “founding fathers” of the YSU Jazz Program, and co-founded the Tony Leonardi Memorial Jazz Scholarship Fund. In 1992 he won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for co-writing “Sassy,” which appeared on the Manhattan Transfer album The Offbeat of Avenues. A bass player, he has toured with Cher, Joan Armatrading, Sergio Mendez, Van Morrision, and Frank Sinatra among others. He was Olivia Newton-John’s personal bass player and appeared on the Grease soundtrack. He wrote songs for Laura Branigan and Glen Frey, and has written and produced music for hundreds of television commercials and shows such as Judge Judy and America’s Most Wanted. (YSU Jambar 1-16-1987; Vindicator 2-20-1992, 5-1-1994, 3-5-2000, 1-7-2001; BillBodineMusic.com).
Booker, Simeon, Jr. August 27, 1918 – December 10, 2017
Journalist/Civil Rights Leader (Born Baltimore, MD; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Booker is an award-winning African-American journalist whose work appeared in leading news publications for more than 50 years. Born in Maryland, Booker’s family moved to Youngstown when he was five years old. His father founded the Black YMCA. In 1938 Booker graduated from South High School and enrolled at Youngstown College; when he learned that black students were denied activity cards at the school, he transferred to Virginia Union University. Upon graduating with a degree in English, he took his first job with the Afro American. Booker later returned to Ohio and worked for the Cleveland Call and Post. In 1952, Booker became the first black reporter for The Washington Post. Booker is best known for his Civil Rights era reporting for Jet and Ebony magazines. His coverage of the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi and the subsequent trial is one of the most noted pieces of journalism from the era. During his long career, Booker was recognized by his peers with numerous awards, including the Newspaper Guild Award and a Wilkie Award. In 1982 he became the first African-American journalist to win the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award for lifetime contributions to journalism. Booker retired in 2007, after serving as Jet‘s Washington Bureau Chief for 51 years. In January 2013, Booker was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame. In December 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from YSU. Mr. Booker continues to inspire journalists today. (Vindicator 6-9-2013, 12-10-2017[obit], 12-17-2017; Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter’s Account of the Civil Rights Movement).
Bopp, Thomas October 15, 1949 – January 5, 2018
Astronomer/Co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp (Born Denver, CO; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Bopp and his family came to Youngstown in 1950. At the age of three, Thomas and his father would observe the night sky, watching meteor showers and identifying constellations and planets. After graduating from Chaney High School in 1967, Mr. Bopp joined the Air Force. Shortly after leaving the Air Force in 1972, he enrolled at Youngstown State University to major in business administration. Elective courses offered additional education and training in astronomy, and he benefited from the astronomy and physics professors at YSU. By 1980, Mr. Bopp moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked for a large concrete supply company. The desert night sky was perfect for stargazing and he associated with several astronomy clubs, including the North Phoenix Alternative Astronomical Society. On July 22, 1995, while observing the globular cluster, M-70, in the constellation Sagittarius, Mr. Bopp noticed a faint glow from an object that had not been in that location on previous observations. This discovery was made simultaneously by professional astronomer, Alan Hale, from his home in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico. The new, extremely large comet designated C/1995 01 (aka Comet Hale-Bopp), was one of the most distant ever observed, from between the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter. For his co-discovery, Mr. Bopp was invited to speak at numerous conventions, lectures, and interviews. In 1998, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Youngstown State University. Mr. Bopp died of liver cancer in 2018. (YSU Jambar 4-1-1997, 3-31-1998; Vindicator 11-27-1996, 3-21-1997, 4-15-1997; Sky & Telescope March 1997; NASA Comet Hale-Bopp info; Sky & Telescope 1-12-2018[obit]).
Browner, Ross March 22, 1954 –
Football Player (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Browner attended the Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, OH before going to Notre Dame University (1974-1978). In his senior year, Notre Dame won the Cotton Bowl to become national champions and he won the 1978 Lombardi College Lineman of the Year award. He was a first round draft pick for the Cincinnati Bengals in 1978, where he remained until 1986. He also played for the Green Bay Packers (1987). (Vindicator 1-20-1978; Total Football II).
Burchfield, Charles E. April 9, 1893 – January 11, 1967
Painter (Born Ashtabula Harbor, OH; resident of Salem, OH)
Mr. Burchfield’s family moved to Salem when he was five. He graduated from Salem High School in 1911 as valedictorian. From 1912-1916 he attended the Cleveland School of Art and began painting his signature watercolor landscapes in 1915. After serving as a camouflage artist during World War I, he settled in Buffalo, NY. He made a living designing wallpaper. In 1956, he was named Best U.S. Watercolorist by Time Magazine. The Burchfield Homestead Society preserved his childhood home in Salem as the Burchfield Homestead Museum, which has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He also inspired the creation of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College, which focuses on artists associated with western New York. (Vindicator 1-11-1967, 12-11-1983, 12-14-2002).
Burns, George Henry January 31, 1893 – January 7, 1978
Baseball Player (Born Niles, OH)
“Tioga George” played first base for 16 years in the American League. He had a career batting average of .307 and was named the league’s MVP in 1926. He played for the Detroit Tigers (1914-1917), the Philadelphia A’s (1918-1920, 1929, 1929 World Series), the Cleveland Indians (1920-1921, 1924-1928, 1920 World Series), the Boston Red Sox (1922-1923), and the New York Yankees (1928). He batted in the winning run for Cleveland in the 6th game of the 1920 World Series, which Cleveland won. He was also with the Philadelphia A’s when they won the 1929 World Series. After his major league career, he was a baseball manager and a deputy sheriff in Seattle. (Vindicator 3-16-1986; New York Times 1-8-1978; The Baseball Encyclopedia).
Burt, Harry B., Sr. August 9, 1875 – May 8, 1926
Good Humor Inventor (Born Cortland, OH; resident of Mahoning County)
In 1920, Youngstown candy maker Harry Burt invented a new product: chocolate covered ice cream on a stick. Mr. Burt named his confection the Good Humor and promoted it with a fleet of 12 chauffer-driven trucks, outfitted with bells, which became the first Good Humor trucks. He received a patent for his idea and sold franchises before his death in 1926. Harry Burt Jr. closed the family store, Burt’s Confectionary, in 1929 when he moved the manufacturing plant to Brooklyn. The Good Humor fleet was so popular it inspired a 1950 movie called The Good Humor Man, starring Jack Carson. Direct selling by Good Humor trucks ended in 1976 due in part to the oil crisis. Breyers Ice Cream now owns the Good Humor brand name. (Vindicator 5-10-1926, 6-7-1992, 4-23-1995, 7-4-1999; Metro Eye 7-1994; GoodHumor.com; Tyler History of Good Humor).
Burton, Pomeroy, Sir August 21, 1869 – October 15, 1947
Businessman (Born Beaver, PA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Born in Pennsylvania, Sir Burton’s family moved to Nebraska in 1873, then came back east to Youngstown in 1880. His father started a weekly newspaper and Roy worked with him when not in school. After graduating from Rayen High School, he went to New York in 1885 and became either managing or news editor for the Brooklyn Eagle, New York American, Evening Journal, and New York World. Lord Northcliffe lured him to London to manage several newspapers, and Burton bought the Daily Mail in 1913. At one time, he owned the Salem News, the East Liverpool Evening Review, the Canton Repository, and the Alliance Review. With war approaching, he made speeches in America urging support of the British, and at Prime Minister Lloyd George’s request, became a British citizen in 1914. He worked for the British government after the war, trying to improve relations with the United States. King George V knighted him in 1923. (Vindicator 7-18-1937, 8-6-1976; New York Times 10-16-1947).
Cafaro, William M. May 23, 1913 – April 22, 1998
Businessman (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Cafaro was a pioneer in the shopping center industry and a noted philanthropist. He started dealing in commercial real estate in the 1940’s and established William Cafaro & Associates, which later became the Cafaro Company. Cafaro built strip malls (McGuffey Plaza, Lincoln Knolls Plaza) in the 1950’s, and enclosed malls (Eastwood Mall) in the 1960’s. Cafaro started developing the Southern Park Mall with the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. but was bought out of the project. Mall openings continued through the 1980’s, and William Cafaro’s children, Anthony, John, and Flora joined the company. The Cafaro Co. has consistently been among the top ten U.S. real estate developers, having developed over seventy commercial properties. Due to Mr. Cafaro’s generosity, Youngstown State University was able to build Cafaro House, an honors dormitory. In 1996, he received a lifetime achievement award for humanitarian service from the National Italian American Foundation. (Y– Cafaro, William M. & Associates folder; Vindicator 4-23-1998; New York Times 4-25-1998).
Calbreath, William H. July 29, 1850 – May 26,1944
Advertising Icon (Born Detroit, MI; resident of Struthers, OH)
Mr. Calbreath was reputed to be the inspiration and original model for the image that appears on Cream of Wheat cereal boxes and advertising. He is buried at Belmont Park Cemetery. (Telegram 7-1-1927; Vindicator 5-27-1944).
Campana, Al February 25, 1926 – April 7, 2009
Football Player (Born Hubbard, OH)
Mr. Campana attended Hubbard High School. He played football for Youngstown College from 1946 to 1949. After serving in the Navy for three years during World War II, he played for the Chicago Bears (1950-1952) and the Chicago Cardinals (1953). He was named team MVP in 1950. Retiring from football, he served as a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Struthers Schools. He was inducted into the YSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Trumbull County Hall of Fame in 2003. (Vindicator 3-28-1982, 4-8-2009; Total Football II).
Cavanaugh, Matt October 27, 1956 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Cavanaugh attended Chaney High School and was quarterback at the University of Pittsburgh (1974-1978, 1976 National Champions). He was named MVP of the 1976 Sugar Bowl. After college, he played for the New England Patriots (1978-1982), the San Francisco 49ers (1983-1985, 1985 Super Bowl), the Philadelphia Eagles (1986-1989), and the New York Giants (1990-1991, 1990 Super Bowl). In 1993 he started his coaching career at the University of Pittsburgh. He coached quarterbacks for the Arizona Cardinals (1994-1995) and the 49ers (1996), and was offensive coordinator for the Chicago Bears (1997-1998) and for the Baltimore Ravens (1999-2004, 2001 Super Bowl). He was offensive coordinator for the University of Pittsburgh until 2008, then become an Assistant Coach with the New York Jets. (Vindicator 1-23-2001, 1-27-2001; Total Football II; Pitt Panthers- Cavanaugh honored).
Clarett, Maurice October 29, 1983 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Clarett played football for Austintown-Fitch, then Warren G. Harding, before attending Ohio State University and playing for the Buckeyes. After several run-ins with OSU officials, Clarett was dismissed from Ohio State. He next decided to sue the NFL, challenging the rule that a player must be out of high school for three years to be eligible for the draft. He won his case, but it was soon reversed. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2005. After a disappointing season ladled with incidents, the Broncos released him. Afterwards, he was riddled with financial and legal trouble, being arrested for a multitude of crimes and serving 3 1/2 years in prison. He is currently a motivational speaker and founded The Red Zone, a non-profit to help city families and at-risk youth. (mauriceclarettonline.com; ESPN Timeline; The Bleacher Report).
Clark, John Hessin September 18, 1857 – March 22, 1945
Justice (Born Lisbon, OH; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Justice Clarke moved to Youngstown in 1878 to open his own corporate law firm. He was part owner of the Vindicator, and served on the Board of Trustees of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. President Wilson appointed him to a federal judgeship in northern Ohio, and two years later nominated him for the Supreme Court. He was a U.S. Supreme Court Justice from 1916-1922, where he promoted break-up of monopolies and the rights of workers. He resigned from the court to pursue American membership in the League of Nations among other activities related to world peace. In his will, he left the Youngstown Library $100,000 for the purchase of books. (Y – Clarke, John H. folder; Ohio Almanac; The Supreme Court Justices).
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Clemmons, François April 23, 1945 –Singer/Actor (Born Birmingham, AL; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Clemmons is a singer, actor, playwright and lecturer, perhaps best known as Officer Clemmons from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. He was one of the first African-Americans to have a recurring role on a kids’ TV series, performing the role for 25 years. Mr. Clemmons also spent many years singing at the Metropolitan Opera Studio in New York City. (Contemporary Authors Online).
Columbus, Chris September 10, 1958 –
Director/Writer/Producer (Born Spangler, PA; resident of Champion, OH)
Mr. Columbus attended John F. Kennedy High School in Warren and went on to study filmmaking at New York University. The first script he sold was Reckless, which was rewritten and made into a film in 1984. He wrote the scripts for Gremlins, The Goonies, and Young Sherlock Holmes. His directorial debut was the 1987 film Adventures in Babysitting, followed by Heartbreak Hotel, which he also wrote. His 1993 film, Mrs. Doubtfire, won a Golden Globe Award for Best Film (Musical or Comedy). He directed many other films, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and produced all of the Harry Potter movies. (Current Biography 2001; Vindicator 11-30-1986; www.imdb.com).
Crosman, Henrietta Foster September 2, 1861 – October 31, 1944
Actress (Born Wheeling, WV; resident of Mahoning County)
Ms. Crosman’s mother, Mary Wick Crosman, was born in Youngstown, and the family eventually returned here. Henrietta performed often in Youngstown theaters until she won her first New York stage part in The White Slave in 1883. She had a string of successes in comedy roles, starting with Mistress Nell in 1900. She acted in two or three plays each season, toured, and appeared in vaudeville before adding silent films to her repertoire. Her first talking-picture role was The Royal Family of Broadway (1930). After her last film (Personal Property in 1937), she returned to the theater for a few years before retiring. (Vindicator 11-1-1944; Who Was Who on Screen; Notable American Women, 1607-1950; They Had Faces Then).
Csonka, Larry December 25, 1946 –
Football Player (Born Stow, OH; resident of Columbiana County)
Mr. Csonka attended Stow High School and was an All-American at Syracuse University (1964-1968). He was the first round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins, contributing to their appearance in three Super Bowls (1971,1972, 1973). He was named the MVP of Super Bowl VIII (1973). He played for Miami (1968-1974), the World Football League’s Memphis Southmen (1975), the New York Giants (1976-1978), and again for the Dolphins in 1979. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 in his second year of eligibility. He lives part time on his farm in Lisbon, OH where he opened the Csonka Sports Complex. (Total Football II; http://larrycsonka.com/; http://www.profootballhof.com/players/larry-csonka/).
Cummings, Jim 1953 –
Voice Artist (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Cummings attended Ursuline High School and worked at Youngstown Sheet & Tube for a short time after graduating. He did odd jobs in New Orleans before settling in Anaheim, California. He gave voices to Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger in the animated television series The New Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, for which he won two Emmys. He continued his vocal work in such feature films as Pooh’s Grand Adventure and The Tigger Movie. He can also be heard in Road to El Dorado, Aladdin, The Lion King, and Shrek, and he’s the voice of Cat on the Nickelodeon television series Catdog. (Vindicator 2-10-2000, 6-4-2000; www.imdb.com).
Dabney, Stephanie 1958 –
Ballet Dancer (Born Philadelphia, PA; resident of Liberty, OH)
Ms. Dabney’s family moved to Youngstown when she was 2. At age 4, her mother enrolled her at the Youngstown Academy, and from 1970 to 1975 she danced with the Ballet Western Reserve. Arthur Mitchell, the founder and director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, discovered her when she attended his master class. She was invited to New York, where she became an apprentice at the age of 16. Accepted into the company in 1977, she became a principal dancer and was noted for her performance as Firebird in the ballet of the same name. Her performance was broadcast on television as part of Kennedy Center Tonight. She has performed all over the world with the troupe, and was part of the wedding performances for Prince Charles and Lady Diana, the 1981 Reagan inaugural, and the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. (Vindicator 2-7-1982, 5-6-1982, 4-3-1986, 6-7-1987; Youngstown Business Journal Mid-April 1986; Dance Magazine 12-2000; New York Times 10-6-2010).
Darrow, Clarence April 18, 1857 – March 13, 1938
Lawyer (Born Kinsman, OH)
Mr. Darrow lived in the Kinsman octagon house from ages 7 to 21. He was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1878, after which he practiced law in Kinsman, Andover and Ashtabula, OH. In 1887 he moved to Chicago, where his reputation grew until he was one of the most famous lawyers in the country. Two of his most important cases were the murder trial of Leopold and Loeb and the Scopes “Monkey Trial,” which was the basis for the movie Inherit the Wind. His boyhood home is now on the National Register of Historic Places. (Vindicator 4-22-2001; Ohio Attorneys).
Davenport, Willie June 8, 1943 – June 17, 2002
Olympic Athlete (Born Troy, AL; resident of Howland, OH)
Mr. Davenport graduated from Howland High School. He served in the U.S. Army and competed with the All Army team. He made the U.S. team for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and was ranked number one in the world for the high hurdles for several years. He won the gold medal for the 110-meter hurdles at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. He also went to the 1972 Munich Olympics and the 1976 Montreal Olympics, where he won a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles. He became one of the few U.S. athletes to compete in both the summer and winter games when he made the four-man bobsled team for the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. He and fellow bobsledder Jeff Gadley were the first African-Americans to ever participate in the Winter Olympics. He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1991. He died of a heart attack in 2002. (Vindicator 5-1-1983; New York Times 6-19-2002; USA Track & Field; Black Firsts; Great Athletes).
DeBartolo, Edward J. May 17, 1909 – December 19, 1994
Businessman (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. DeBartolo was a pioneer in the shopping center industry. He started building houses in 1937, and by 1944 had founded the Edward J. DeBartolo Corp. He began constructing shopping centers in the 1950’s, with the Boardman Plaza being one of the first. A plaza in Austintown was added in 1959, which is also when he bought his first horseracing track, Thistledown, near Cleveland. In 1968, he and William M. Cafaro started to develop the Southern Park Mall, but DeBartolo bought him out. He purchased a controlling interest in the San Francisco 49ers professional football team in 1970. In the 1990’s, the company had financial difficulties because it built malls without bank financing and loaned money to Robert Campeau for his attempted takeover of the Federated Department Stores. In 1993, 51 malls and 11 shopping plazas went public as DeBartolo Realty Corporation in order to pay off debt. DeBartolo died in 1994, and the company was divided between his children, Edward Jr. and Denise DeBartolo York. (Y – DeBartolo, Edward J. Corp. folder; Y – DeBartolo, Edward J. Family folder; New York Times 12-20-1994).
DeBartolo, Edward J., Jr. November 6, 1946 –
Businessman (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. DeBartolo is the son of famed businessman and shopping mall developer, Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. As such, he entered a family business operation that was already prominent. He is best known for being the owner of the San Francisco 49ers for 23 years (1977-2000), during which the team won 5 Super Bowl championships. However, this time period also held legal problems for DeBartolo. In 1992, he was accused of sexual assault, and paid $200,000 in an out-of-court settlement. He was also involved in the 1998 corruption case of former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards. DeBartolo pled guilty of failing to report a bribe, paid $1 million in fines, and received two years of probation in return for testimony against Edwards. This led to a fine by the NFL, and DeBartolo was banned from active control of the 49ers for the 1999 season. He gave control of the team to his sister Denise York in exchange for control of other parts of the family business. In February 2016 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (Y – DeBartolo, Edward J. Corp. folder; Y – DeBartolo, Edward J. Family folder; Vindicator 2-7-2016, 7-31-2016; http://www.profootballhof.com/players/edward-debartolo-jr/).
DeMain, John January 11, 1944 –
Conductor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Graduating from Cardinal Mooney High School, Mr. DeMain won a scholarship to the Julliard School of Music. He was, at age 14, musical director for the Youngstown Playhouse and, as an adult, a piano soloist at the Youngstown Symphony. In 1972, he won the Julius Rudel award to be an apprentice conductor at the New York City Opera. Three years later he became director of the Texas Opera Theater, the touring division of the Houston Grand Opera. His recording of Porgy and Bess, which opened in Houston and went to Broadway, won him a Grammy for Best Opera Recording in 1977. He became principal conductor and music director in Houston, where he debuted Bernstein’s A Quiet Place and Adam’s Nixon in China. He was also music director of Opera Omaha and principal conductor of the Chautauqua Opera among others. Currently he is Music Director of the Madison Symphony and Artistic Director of the Madison Opera in Wisconsin. (Vindicator 4-2-1972, 6-4-2000; New Grove Dictionary of Opera; Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music).
DiPiero, Bob March 3, 1951 –
Songwriter (Born Liberty, OH)
Mr. DiPiero attended Liberty High School and Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. He helped form the Warner Reprise band Billy Hill, which he performed in from 1989 to 1991. He has written over 13 chart-topping country music songs such as “American Made” sung by the Oak Ridge Boys, “Take Me As I Am” sung by Faith Hill, “Little Rock” and “Till You Love Me” sung by Reba McEntire, and “Worlds Apart” co-written and sung by Vince Gill. In his career, he has singly or jointly written over 1,000 songs. In 2001, he released his first solo CD Laugh. He is a board member with the Country Music Association and is a regular host of the CMA Songwriter Series. (Vindicator 3-5-2000, 8-2-2001, 12-30-2001).
Domhoff, G. William August 6, 1936 –
Scholar (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Domhoff is a retired professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of California, where he spent most of his career teaching and researching. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Duke University, a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Miami. He is highly regarded for his study of power elites and political economy, and has prepared additional scholarship on the scientific study of dreams. He is the author of the controversial bestseller Who Rules America, now in its sixth edition. (WhoRulesAmerica?.net).
Dotson, Bill 1948 –
Portrait Artist (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Dotson attended Rayen High School before joining the Marine Corps. Prior to Before being sent to Vietnam, he was seriously injured in a car accident. He could not speak and a body cast prevented him from moving anything but his right hand (and even then only in a figure-eight motion). Communicating by writing, he also started doodling, which developed his drawing technique. After recuperating, he worked at Youngstown Sheet & Tube and General Motor’s Lordstown plant. His first commissioned portrait was in 1973. He has become famous for his pen and ink drawings of sports figures and celebrities, including Pope John Paul II, Paul Newman, Michael Jordan, Frank Sinatra, and Luciano Pavarotti. (Vindicator 8-26-1986, 11-2-1987, 2-14-1988, 5-24-1995, 2-5-2009).
Dravecky, Dave February 14, 1956 –
Baseball Pitcher (Born Boardman, OH)
Mr. Dravecky played for Boardman High School, Youngstown State University, the Pittsburgh Pirates (1979-1981), the San Diego Padres (1982-1987, 1984 World Series) and the San Francisco Giants (1987-1989). Cancer was found in his left (pitching) arm in 1988. Ten months after surgery, he was pitching again for the Giants. Five days later, however, his arm snapped as he threw a pitch. Sadly, though the fracture healed and he was considering another comeback, his arm was broken again as the Giants converged to celebrate winning the 1989 National League pennant game. His left arm and shoulder had to be amputated due to cancer in 1991. He is now an author and lecturer. (Cleveland Plain Dealer 6-20-1991; Total Baseball; http://www.davedravecky.com/).
This doo-wop group is best known for their 1961 hit, “Rama Lama Ding Dong.” The Edsels, comprised of George Jones Jr. (lead vocals), James Reynolds, Marshall Sewell, Harry Greene and Larry Greene, all hail from Campbell and Youngstown. The group was formed in late 1950’s, and their hit song, composed by Jones, was originally released in 1959. It was re-released in 1961 and rose to number 21 on the charts, but by then the group had already broken up. See also: George “Wydell” Jones. (Vindicator 1-30-1996, 4-7-2001; http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/edsels/426647).
Evans, William G. “Billy” February 10, 1884 – January 23, 1956
Baseball Umpire/Executive (Born Chicago, IL; resident of Youngstown, OH)
In 1903, Mr. Evans was a sportswriter for the Youngstown Vindicator. While reporting on a game, the scheduled umpire was a no-show, so Mr. Evans stepped in and umpired the game. He was soon umpiring regularly. In 1906, he became the youngest major league umpire ever at the age of 22. “For 20 years… he was the best umpire in the American League.” He became general manager of the Cleveland Indians (1927-1935), farm team director for the Boston Red Sox (1938-1940), general manager of the Cleveland Rams football team (1941-1942), president of baseball’s Southern League (1942-1946), and club vice-president and general manager of the Detroit Tigers (1946-1951). In 1973, he became the only person from Youngstown inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Vindicator 3-4-1973; Business Journal Mid-January 2000; Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia).
Firestone, Harvey S. December 20, 1868 – February 7, 1938
Businessman (Born Columbiana, OH)
Mr. Firestone graduated from Columbiana High School in 1887. He worked in the buggy industry before starting the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron in 1900. The company developed the pneumatic tire for the Ford Model T, non-skid treads, tractor and truck tires, and the balloon tire. The first practical tractor tires were developed at the testing center at his Columbiana home. Firestone became one of the “big five” in rubber, along with Goodyear, Goodrich, US Rubber and Fisk. When a monopoly of natural rubber suppliers threatened supplies, Firestone partnered with Henry Ford to create rubber plantations in Liberia. In 1984, the original Firestone Homestead and farm buildings were moved to Greenfield Village, part of the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, MI. The Harvey S. Firestone Park in Columbiana was named for him since he is buried there. (Chambers Biographical Dictionary; Encyclopedia of World Biography; Harvey Firestone: Free Man of Enterprise).
Fisher, Max July 15, 1908 – March 3, 2005
Philanthropist (Born Pittsburgh, PA; resident of Salem, OH)
Mr. Fisher graduated from Salem High School in 1926, then went to Ohio State University on a football scholarship. He used his degree in business administration to turn his father’s oil reclamation business in Detroit into Speedway, one of the largest gas stations chains in the Midwest. He sold his business and invested the profits to create his fortune, which he used for philanthropy and diplomacy. He has advised U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers. He founded the National Jewish Coalition and has served as advisor or board member of a dozen corporations, including Comerica and Sotheby’s. He donated $20 million to the OSU College of Business, which was named in his honor. At the time of his death, his fortune was estimated at $775 million. (Lisbon Morning Journal 3-4-2005; Quiet Diplomat: Max Fisher; OSU Fisher College of Business).
Flynn, Joe November 8, 1924 – July 19, 1974
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Born and raised in Youngstown, Mr. Flynn had numerous roles on stage and television, including a television sitcom called Yer Old Buddy. He entered the race for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives in 1952 but was defeated. Returning to acting, he nabbed his first movie role in Rear Window. Although he appeared in over 25 films, he is best known for his portrayal of Captain Wallace B. Binghamton on the show McHale’s Navy, which ran from 1962 to 1966. (Vindicator 7-20-1974; www.imdb.com).
Foster, Stan April 16, 1960 –
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Foster attended South High School and Ohio State University, until he quit to become an actor. He appeared in the films Wildcats, Project X, and Action Jackson. He portrayed Sgt. Marvin Johnson on the television series Tour of Duty, which aired from 1987 to 1990. He was also producer and screenwriter for the movies Tara and Woman Thou Art Loosed. (Vindicator 3-31-1987, 6-7-1987, 3-11-1988; The Official Stan Foster).
Foster, Stephen Collins July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864
Composer (Family ties in Mahoning County)
Author and composer of such popular songs as “Oh, Susanna,” “Camptown Races,” “Swanee River,” and “My Old Kentucky Home,” Mr. Foster often visited his aunt, Mary Foster Struthers, when he was a boy. Mrs. Struthers was the wife of John Struthers, founder of Struthers, OH. (A Heritage to Share; American Songwriters).
Freed, Alan December 15, 1922 – January 20, 1965
Disc Jockey (Born Johnstown, PA; resident of Salem, OH)
Mr. Freed was the first “disc jockey” and producer of rock concerts. He even coined the term “rock and roll.” He began his radio career at WKST in New Castle, PA, and also worked at WKBN in Youngstown, WIBE in Philadelphia, WAKR in Akron, and WKEL and WJW in Cleveland. He was known for playing songs by the original black artists, which proved so popular that he promoted integrated concert bills at his Moondog Balls in Cleveland. He moved to WINS in New York in 1954, where he was the most popular disc jockey in the country and promoted stars like Buddy Holly, Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1963, he was convicted of accepting payola. Then in 1964, he was charged with income tax evasion but died before he could stand trial. (Vindicator 9-26-1996; Rock Who’s Who; The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll).
Keaggy, Phil March 23, 1951 – (Born Youngstown, OH)
Pecchio, Daniel May 10, 1947 – (Born Youngstown, OH)
Sferra, John (Born Howland, OH)
Glass Harp was formed in 1968 while Keaggy and Sferra were still in high school. They released three albums and were the opening act for such groups as Traffic, Yes, The Kinks, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent. Keaggy, who made Musician Magazine’s list of “top guitarists of the 20th century,” left the band for a successful solo career in contemporary Christian music. Sferra also went solo and backed Keaggy on some of his later work. Pecchio played bass with the Michael Stanley Band. The band occasionally reunites for local concerts, and teamed up with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra for a recorded concert in 2000. (Business Journal Mid-October 2000; Vindicator 10-22-2000; Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music; Contemporary Musicians; http://www.glassharp.net/).
Goldston, Ralph February 25, 1929 – July 9, 2011
Football Player (Born Campbell, OH)
Mr. Goldston attended Campbell Memorial High School, played at Indiana University for a year, and then transferred to Youngstown College. He was the first African-American player with the Philadelphia Eagles when he made the team in 1952. After spending 1953 in the military, he returned to the Eagles for the 1954 and 1955 seasons. He played for the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger Cats (1956-1964) and Montreal Alouettes (1965), and then coached for Harvard University, the University of Colorado and the Chicago Bears. He was also a scout for the New York Giants, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and the Seattle Seahawks. (Vindicator 7-9-1975, 3-16-1978, 10-16-1998, 7-14-2011[obit]; Total Football II).
Green, William, Jr. 1923 – June 16, 2011
Attorney (Waycross, GA; resident of Mahoning County)
Abandoned by unknown parents in Georgia, Mr. Green was adopted by travelers William Green, Sr. and his wife on their return trip to Youngstown. He graduated from East High School in 1941, then served in the U.S. Army during WWII. After the war he returned home and earned a law degree from Youngstown College School of Law. During his 50-year career as trial attorney, he specialized in criminal law, personal injury, and domestic relations. Mr. Green also served as State Examiner, Assistant County Prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor of the City of Youngstown, and Assistant Law Director with City of Youngstown. He was appointed by Governor Jim Rhodes to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and was a member of numerous local and national organizations. (Vindicator 6-21-2011[obit]).
Grohl, Dave January 14, 1969 –
Musician (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Grohl was born in Warren and lived in Niles until age 4. His father, a journalist, moved them to Columbus where he worked on Senator Taft’s campaign, before eventually settling in Alexandria, VA. In 1990, Dave became the drummer and background vocalist for the grunge rock band Nirvana, where he remained until the suicide of lead singer Kurt Cobain in 1994. Later that year, he recorded a solo album where he played virtually everything on it. Not wanting to start a solo career, he formed a new band to support the album with himself as lead singer and guitarist. The band and the album were called Foo Fighters. In 2009, he was given the key to the city of Warren during a ceremony dedicating a downtown alley named for him. As of 2017, Mr. Grohl has won fifteen Grammy awards. (Vindicator 8-1-2009, 2-13-2012; NPR Music; FooFighters.com; Cleveland Plain Dealer 2003; Grammy Awards).
Hall, Gus October 8, 1910 – October 13, 2000
Union Leader/Communist (Born Virginia, MN; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Hall was a founding organizer of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) and Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and was involved in the Little Steel Strike of 1937. He resigned to become more involved with the Communist Party, running unsuccessfully for Youngstown city council and for Ohio governor. He became General Secretary of the American Communist Party in 1950 and was imprisoned for five and a half years for “conspiring to teach and advocate the violent overthrow of the U.S. government.” He ran for the U.S. presidency on the Communist Party USA ticket in 1972, 1976, 1980, and 1984. (Current Biography 1973, 2001).
Hamilton, Edmond Moore October 21, 1904 – February 1, 1977
Author (Born Youngstown, OH)
As one of the earliest writers of science fiction, Mr. Hamilton introduced the concepts of programmed robots, intergalactic travel, galactic civilizations, cosmic radiation, and the Earth being controlled or destroyed by outer space aliens. He was the creator of what is now called “space opera.” In 1967, he was elected to the First Fandom Science Fiction Hall of Fame. His sister was local newspaper columnist Esther Hamilton. (Vindicator 2-2-1977; Guide to Literary Masters and Their Work; Stars, My Brothers).
Hamilton, Esther August 8, 1897 – May 9, 1989
Journalist (Born New Castle, PA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
In 1921, Miss Hamilton joined the staff of the Youngstown Telegram where she earned her reputation covering big trials and getting exclusive interviews. When the Vindicator bought out the Telegram in 1935, Miss Hamilton moved her “Around Town” column to the Vindicator. She retired to Florida in 1970, but continued her Sunday Around Town column until November of 1987. Her brother was science fiction writer Edmond Moore Hamilton. (Vindicator 5-9-1989, 5-10-1989).
Harris, David William “Bill” (aka Barney Bean) April 10, 1929 – June 21, 2008
Newscaster/Children’s TV Program Host (Born Hubbard, OH)
Mr. Harris attended Boardman High School and Youngstown State University to become a newscaster. He was well-known for his influence on the local children’s television scene. For several years during the 1960s and 1970s he hosted The Barney Bean Show, broadcast on WYTV-TV Channel 33, with Harris performing the role of Barney Bean. The show featured a live audience of local children engaging in activities and games, supplemented by comedic routines by Barney Bean and his sidekick dummy, Sherwood. Harris was a gifted ventriloquist. (Vindicator 3-7-2002, 6-23-2008).
Hartman, Elizabeth December 23, 1943 – June 10, 1987
Actress (Born Youngstown, OH)
Ms. Hartman made her motion picture acting debut in the 1965 film A Patch of Blue with Sidney Poitier. Her performance as the blind girl, Selina D’Arcy, earned her a Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination. She appeared in The Group, You’re A Big Boy Now, The Fixer, The Beguiled, Walking Tall and Full Moon High. She was also the voice of Mrs. Brisby in The Secret of NIMH. Suffering from depression, she committed suicide by jumping out of her fifth-floor Pittsburgh apartment window. (Vindicator 6-11-1987; www.imdb.com).
Henke, Shirl August 18, 1942 –
Romance Writer (Born St. Louis, MO; resident of Mahoning County)
Ms. Henke came to Youngstown in 1970 when her husband got a teaching job at Youngstown State University. She too taught at the university before quitting to become a full-time writer. Her first novel, Golden Lady, published in 1986, won the Romantic Times Best New Western Author award. She writes with collaborator Carol Reynard and now lives in Missouri. (Vindicator 2-7-1987; http://www.shirlhenke.com/).
Herbert, Vera 1989 –
TV Writer/Producer (Born South Africa; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Ms. Herbert, a graduate of Ursuline High School, now works in Hollywood. She got her start as assistant creator for MTV’s Awkward, and is currently working as a screenwriter and supervising producer for NBC’s 2016 breakout drama This Is Us, which was nominated for three Golden Globes in 2017.
(Vindicator 5-29-2017; WFMJ 3-15-2017; www.imdb.com).
Hirschbeck, John September 7, 1954 –
Baseball Umpire (Born Bridgeport, CT; resident of Mahoning County)
Mr. Hirschbeck and his brother, Mark, are the only brothers ever to umpire in major league baseball. By 1984, John had worked his way up to the majors, the American League. He umpired the 1989 All-Star game and the 1995 World Series. On September 27, 1996, he called a third strike on the Baltimore Orioles’ Roberto Alomar at a game in Toronto. They argued and Alomar spat in his face causing a national incident. It was made worse by Alomar’s claim that Hirschbeck’s judgment had suffered since the loss of his oldest son, John Drew, to adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). Alomar apologized and has since become a generous donor to the John Hirschbeck Memorial Fund in memory of their son. In 1999, the Major League Umpires Association told the umpires to resign as a negotiation ploy. Hirschbeck and others fought it and formed a new union, the World Umpires Association, which was recognized in 2000. Hirschbeck served as the first president until 2009. (Vindicator 11-4-1986, 3-2-2000, 5-16-2000; New York Times 12-24-2004; MLB Umpires).
Holtz, Lou January 6, 1937 –
Football Coach (Born Follansbee, WV; resident of East Liverpool, OH)
Mr. Holtz played football at East Liverpool High School and Kent State University. He is the only coach in NCAA football to reach bowl games with six different schools and to lead four different schools to rank in the top 20. He started his coaching career at William and Mary, then on to North Carolina State. After a brief stint with the New York Jets, he coached at the University of Arkansas and the University of Minnesota. He then rebuilt the Notre Dame football team, winning the 1988 National Championship, and staying for 11 years. He became a television commentator after he retired in 1995, but returned to coaching in 1999, leading the University of South Carolina to bowl victories. In 2000, both Football News and American Football Coach Quarterly named him National Coach of the Year. The Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame in East Liverpool is named in his honor. (Vindicator 1-14-1998, 7-7-1998; Gamecocks Online- Holtz bio; Lou Holtz Hall of Fame).
Formed in Youngstown, this rock group was comprised of Richard Belley, Ting Markulin, Mel Pachuta, and Mike Tatman. Originally named The Human Beings, they found their name changed by their record company, Capitol Records, after they signed in 1967. They scored a top ten hit in 1968 with “Nobody But Me,” a song originally recorded by the Isley Brothers. They released two albums, their debut album Nobody But Me and a follow-up album titled Evolution. (http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/human-beinz/446386).
Huntington, Samuel October 4, 1765 – June 8, 1817
Governor of Ohio (Born Coventry, CT; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Huntington was the third governor of Ohio. He settled briefly in Youngstown (1801) before moving to the Cleveland area. (Ohio History Central- Huntington).
Isaacson, Ruth A. January 29, 1917 – July 29, 2003
Teacher/Business Woman/Radio Personality (Born New Middletown, OH)
In 1952 Ruth Isaacson founded Mother Goose Day Nursery, the first certified and privately owned day care center in Youngstown. Mrs. Isaacson worked as a teachers’ aide at Boardman Elementary School and taught Sunday school nursery classes at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. She was well-known and highly regarded by children and their parents. Her popularity increased due to her two radio programs, “Story Lady” and “Children’s Chapel.” Throughout the years operating Mother Goose Day Nursery, Mrs. Isaacson continued her education at Youngstown State University and attended many workshops taught by national leaders in preschool instruction. The original building was claimed by construction for I-680. Thereafter, Mother Goose was relocated to the Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Midlothian Boulevard, where it remained until closure around 2007. (Vindicator 7-2-1981, 7-31-2003[obit]).
Jaworski, Ronald March 23, 1951 –
Football Player (Born Lackawanna, NY; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Jaworski was quarterback for Youngstown State University (1969-1972), played with the Los Angeles Rams (1973-76), the Philadelphia Eagles (1977-86, 1980 Super Bowl), the Miami Dolphins (1987-88), and the Kansas City Chiefs (1989). He is now a football analyst and motivational speaker. (Total Football II ; When the Clock Runs Out; Speaking of Sports- Jaworski).
Jenkins, (William) Paul July 12, 1923 – June 9, 2012
Painter (Born Kansas City, MO; resident of Struthers, OH)
Mr. Jenkins graduated from Struthers High School and served in the U.S. Navy Air Corps (1943-1945). He studied art in New York City after the war and became an independent artist in 1953. The first exhibitions of his work were in Paris and Frankfurt in 1954. He is known for his abstract expressionist painting style, which has won him many awards, including a Life Achievement Award from the Butler Institute of American Art (1997). A film, The Ivory Knife: Paul Jenkins at Work, was made while he painted from 1964 to 1966. Andy Warhol famously painted his portrait in 1979. Mr. Jenkins’ works are displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Tate Gallery in London, among others. He died in 2012 after a short illness. (Vindicator 4-27-1958; Dictionary of American Art; Contemporary Artists; Paul Jenkins; ArtNet bio- Jenkins).
Jones, George “Wydell” October 5, 1936 – September 27, 2008
Singer/Entertainer (Born Richmond, VA; resident of Mahoning County)
Mr. Jones was an entertainer and lead singer of the original Edsels singing group, formed in the late 1950s. He moved to Youngstown as a child when his father got work in a steel mill. He attended Campbell Memorial High School and sang with his friends on Campbell street corners. After high school, Jones joined the U.S. Air Force, where he sang in a vocal group with other servicemen. He wrote and arranged all of the songs for the Edsels, including their hit song “Rama Lama Ding Dong,” which he first conceived during his military service. “Rama Lama” peaked at No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961. During The Edsels’ heyday, the group performed at the famed Apollo Theater in New York twice and appeared on several national pop-music television shows, including American Bandstand and Shindig. George Jones recorded two songs with Ray Charles: “I’m Gonna Cut You Loose” and “Do the Walk.” Jones managed several gospel music groups in later years, including The Jones Gospel Singers, comprised of his family members. See also: The Edsels. (Vindicator 9-30-2008, 9-30-2008[obit]).
Jones, Nathaniel R. May 13, 1926 –
Judge (Born Youngstown, OH)
Judge Jones grew up on Court Street in Smoky Hollow. After serving in the Air Force during World War II, he earned his law degree in 1955 from Youngstown University. A civil rights attorney, he was executive director of the Youngstown’s Fair Employment Practices Commission and the Mayor’s Human Relations Commission from 1956 to 1959. In 1961, Attorney General Robert Kennedy appointed him Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio in Cleveland, the first African-American to hold that position. In 1967, President Johnson named him Assistant General Counsel to the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, also known as the Kerner Commission. He was general counsel of the NAACP from 1969, until President Carter appointed him judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1979. He retired in 2002 and joined the Cincinnati law firm of Blank Rome LLP, where he specializes in litigation and dispute resolution. On May 5, 2003, the Nathaniel R. Jones Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Youngstown was named in his honor. In 2016 Judge Jones published his memoir Answering the Call: An Autobiography of the Modern Struggle to End Racial Discrimination in America. On July 21, 2016 Judge Jones was awarded a Spingarn Medal, the NAACP’s highest award. (Vindicator 11-9-1901, 4-13-2003, 5-6-2003; Blank Rome Counselors- Jones; UC College of Law- Papers of Judge Jones; Federal Judicial Center bio- Jones; NAACP bio- Jones).
Karlis, Rich May 23, 1959 –
Football player (Born Salem, OH)
Mr. Karlis attended Salem High School and played one season for the University of Cincinnati as a kicker. He was the only one of 75 kickers the Denver Broncos picked up at a free agent tryout camp. He played for the Broncos from 1982 to 1988, getting them into the Super Bowl with an overtime field goal against the Cleveland Browns in 1987. However, during the Super Bowl, he missed two field goal attempts and the Broncos lost to the New York Giants. The Broncos also attended and lost the 1988 Super Bowl. Mr. Karlis was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for only one season, but on November 5, 1989 he became one of a few men to have kicked 7 successful field goals in a single game. Since he always kicked barefoot and could not donate his shoe, a plaster cast was made of his kicking foot to commemorate the event. After the 1990 season with the Detroit Lions, he became a businessman in Denver and is involved with the Special Olympics. (Vindicator 1-12-1987, 1-25-1987, 1-26-1987, 11-6-1989; Sports Illustrated 7-24-2000; Total Football II).
Kirwan, Michael Joseph December 2, 1886 – July 27, 1970
Congressman (Born Plains, PA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
The son of an Irish coal miner, Mr. Kirwan dropped out of school after third grade. He worked in coalmines, railroads, oil fields, and lumber camps across America, then as a sergeant in the 348th Machine Gun Company during World War I. He moved to Youngstown in the early 1920s. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1936 and eventually held two high positions: first was chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Works (through which he championed conservation, Smithsonian Institute, highways, dams, power plants, and education for Native Americans), second was chairman of the Democratic National Congressional Committee in 1948, the first northerner in this position. Two projects that he failed to achieve were the Lake Erie to Ohio River canal “Mike’s Big Ditch,” and an aquarium for Washington D.C., “Mike’s Fish Tank.” A 17-term congressman, he was ranked 7th in House seniority when he died from complications of a broken back. (Vindicator 1-15-1948, 7-27-1970; New York Times 7-28-1970; Who Was Who in America).
Kosar, Bernie November 25, 1963 –
Football player (Born Boardman, OH)
Mr. Kosar played football for Boardman High School, and then the University of Miami in Florida (1983-1985, 1983 National Champions). He was quarterback for the Cleveland Browns from 1985 to 1993. Kosar led the Browns to three AFC Championship games (1986,1987, 1989), getting them as close to the Super Bowl as they would ever be. He moved on to play for the Dallas Cowboys late 1993, replacing injured Troy Aikman, and was a key element in the Cowboys Super Bowl winning season. He finished his professional career with the Miami Dolphins (1994-1996). He held the NFL record for most consecutive completed passes, before Tom Brady broke the record in 2010. Mr. Kosar is involved in many business ventures, and was hired as a consultant for the Cleveland Browns in 2009. (Bernie’s Insiders: Cleveland Pro Football Coverage; Bernie Kosar stats).
Kosco, Andrew “Pudge” October 5, 1941 –
Baseball Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Kosco played for the Minnesota Twins (1965-1967), the New York Yankees (1968), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1969-1970), the Milwaukee Brewers (1971). In 1972, he played for the California Angels and Boston Red Sox, and ended his professional career with the Cincinnati Reds (1973-1974). (Total Baseball; Society for American Baseball Research).
Lawrence, Mary Wells May 25, 1928 –
Advertising Executive (Born Poland, OH)
Ms. Wells began her career as a copywriter for McKelvey’s Department Store in 1951. She moved to New York to work for Macy’s and founded her own advertising firm, Wells Rich Greene, Inc. in 1966. She was the first female CEO of a firm traded on the New York Stock Exchange (1968), and at age 40 was the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Copywriters Hall of Fame (1969). Her firm was sold when she retired in 1990, closing permanently in 1998. She was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 2000. She is responsible for such advertising slogans as “Plop plop fizz fizz,” “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” “Midasize it,” “Flick your Bic,” and “I love New York.” Her memoir, A Big Life in Advertising was published in 2002. (Vindicator 10-4-1966; Cleveland Plain Dealer 4-14-1990; Who’s Who in Finance and Industry).
Lepore, Nanette January 1, 1964 –
Fashion Designer (Born Youngstown, OH)
Ms. Lepore is a fashion designer based in New York City, known for bold colors and evocative prints. She graduated from YSU in 1983 with a BFA and later earned a degree in design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. Operating at first on a shoestring, Ms. Lepore launched her label in New York City’s Garment Center, which has grown to become a major player in contemporary American fashion. Her clothes are sold in shops throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia; her designs have been worn by many celebrities. (Vindicator 1-25-2013; YSU Newsroom- Nanette Lepore; https://www.nanettelepore.com/).
Light, Enoch August 18, 1907 – July 31, 1978
Musician (Born Canton, OH; resident of Mahoning County)
Mr. Light’s family moved to Youngstown when he was small. He graduated from South High School and studied violin at the Dana Music Institute in Warren. He made his conducting debut with the Salzburg Symphony in Austria in 1930. He returned to the United States and formed a successful big band, Enoch Light and the Light Brigade. While touring, he was seriously injured in a car accident and did not return to music for two years. After his recovery, he focused on conducting and producing records where he experimented with stereo techniques and recording on 35mm film. Under his Command Records label, he recorded “Persuasive Percussion,” which hit the top of the charts in April 1960 and went gold. (Vindicator 8-2-1978; Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians; Encyclopedia of Popular Music).
Lynd, Staughton November 22, 1929 –
Lawyer/Writer/Activist (Born Philadelphia, PA; resident of Niles, OH)
A former history professor at Yale, Mr. Lynd became a leader of the New Left in the 1960s. He was chairperson of the first march on Washington protesting the Vietnam War and director of the Mississippi Freedom Schools. His activism made it difficult for him to find a job in the academic world, so he became a lawyer specializing in the rights of workers. He and his family moved to Youngstown in 1976, where he went to work for Northeast Ohio Legal Services. When the area’s three largest steel mills closed, he and co-worker James Callen represented community coalitions trying to save Youngstown Sheet & Tube’s Campbell works and LTV’s Brier Hill works. The fight to save U.S. Steel’s Ohio Works went to the U.S. District Court but was unsuccessful. He wrote The Fight Against Shutdowns: Youngstown’s Steel Mill Closings about the struggle. Though retired since 1997, he continues to write. (Vindicator 8-29-1982, 6-22-1997; Business Journal 3-1999; Current Biography 1983).
Maguire, Paul August 22, 1938 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Maguire attended Ursuline High School and The Citadel. He played for the San Diego Chargers (1960-1963, 1963 AFL Champions) and the Buffalo Bills (1964-1970, 1964 and 1965 AFL Champions). He has been a sports commentator for NBC and ESPN since the 1970s. (Vindicator 4-9-1998; Total Football II).
Mancini, Ray “Boom Boom” March 4, 1961 –
Boxer (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Mancini is the son of boxer Lenny Mancini, the original “Boom-Boom.” Ray was the Youngstown/Cleveland Golden Gloves boxing champ from 1977-1979 and won the North American Boxing Federation lightweight title in 1981 by defeating Jorge Morales. In 1982, he beat Arturio Frias to become the World Boxing Association lightweight champion. He lost the title to Livingstone Bramble in 1984 and officially retired from boxing in 1985. He returned to the ring again, once in 1989 and in 1992. He is now involved in boxing promotions, making Southpaw wine, acting, and his film company, Boom Boom Productions. His company created the documentary Youngstown: Still Standing and Turn of Faith, with Ray in a starring role. Ray was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015. (Vindicator 2-5-1995, 5-4-2000; Business Journal Mid-July 1994; ESPN 12-4-2014; The Good Son: the Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini).
Manigault-Newman, Omarosa 1974 –
Television Personality/Presidential Aide (Born Youngstown, OH)
Ms. Manigault rose to fame as a contestant in the first season of the Donald Trump reality television show, The Apprentice. She appeared in numerous other reality shows, later returning to compete in Celebrity Apprentice. She graduated from Rayen High School in 1992; she obtained a bachelor’s degree from Central State University (Wilberforce, OH), master’s and doctoral degrees from Howard University (Washington, D.C.), and Biblical Studies degree from Payne Theological Seminary (Wilberforce, OH). In 2011, she became an ordained minister and served as Assistant Pastor of Weller Street Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, CA, for 10 years, before leaving in 2017 to join President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. She worked as Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison until resigning in 2018. (Vindicator 2-6-2004, 1-5-2017, 12-13-2017; People 4-19-2004, 5-3-2004, 8-16-2004; CBS Los Angeles; http://www.omarosa.com/).
Mayo, John Lewis “Jack” July 26, 1925 – August 19, 2014
Baseball Player (Born Litchfield, IL; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Mayo came to Youngstown with his family in 1937. After serving in World War II, he played baseball for Notre Dame University. He played for the Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1952) and was one of the Philadelphia “Whiz Kids” that won the 1950 World Series. He played briefly for Baltimore and Montreal before returning to the Phillies (1953). After retiring from baseball, he returned to Youngstown and became co-partner of Mayo-Orvets Realtors in 1959, now called Mayo & Associates; he developed thousands of residential and commercial properties and served as Past President of the Youngstown Board of Realtors. Mr. Mayo was a Curbstone Hall of Fame recipient. (Vindicator 10-16-1974, 8-21-2014[obit]; Total Baseball).
McAleer, Jimmy “Loafer” July 10, 1864 – April 29, 1931
Baseball Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
When Mr. McAleer played for the Cleveland Spiders (1889-1898, 1892, 1895 & 1896 World Series), he was the first person from the Mahoning Valley to play in the majors. In 1901, he came out of retirement to become the first manager of the American League’s Cleveland Lake Shores (predecessor of the Indians), then for the new St. Louis Browns (1902-1908), then the Washington Senators (1911). In 1912, he became co-owner and president of the Boston Red Sox, but was forced to sell out in 1914. (Business Journal Mid-Jan 2000; Vindicator 7-13-1986; Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia).
McBride, Wilbert B. July 14, 1915 – July 5, 2002
Attorney/Lyricist (Born Youngstown, OH)
Beautiful Ohio, originally by Ballard MacDonald and Mary Earl, was adopted as the state song on October 14, 1969. Mr. McBride felt the lyrics did not adequately represent the state. He wrote new lyrics, and Senate Minority Leader Harry Meshel of Youngstown introduced legislation to have them officially changed. His lyrics were adopted and became law on November 6, 1989. (Vindicator 2-24-1988, 6-30-1989, 7-17-2002; NetState-Ohio State Song).
McFadden, Paul September 24, 1961 –
Football Player (Born Euclid, OH; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. McFadden was a kicker at Youngstown State University (1980-1983), best known for his barefoot-kicking style. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1984-1987), the New York Giants (1988), and the Atlanta Falcons (1989). After his NFL career, he returned to Youngstown and served as YSU’s Director of Athletic Development from 1993 to 2000. In August of 2000, he became Director of Development. (Vindicator 1-28-2001; YSU Athletics-McFadden).
McGovern, Maureen July 27, 1949 –
Singer/Actress (Born Boardman, OH)
Ms. McGovern began her career singing the 1973 Oscar-winning song “The Morning After” from the film The Poseidon Adventure. In 1975, she became the first singer to record two Oscar-nominated songs in the same year: “We May Never Love Like This Again” from The Towering Inferno (which won), and “Wherever Love Takes Me” from the British film Gold. In 1978, she hit the charts again singing “Can You Read My Mind?” from Superman. She appeared in the 1980 film Airplane! as singing nun Sister Angelina. She also starred on Broadway in The Pirates of Penzance, The Sound of Music, and South Pacific. She continues to sing and work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. (Savvy December 1989; Current Biography 1990; Vindicator 5-1-1988, 8-28-2000; MaureenMcGovern.com).
McGovern, Michael J. October 3, 1848 – April 2, 1933
Poet (Born Castlerea, Ireland; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. McGovern came to Youngstown around 1888. He is known as the “Puddler Poet” because of the poems he wrote while working as a puddler in the local steel mills. In the labor verse for which he is best known, he struck out unmercifully against unjust employers and selfish bosses. His works were collected in Labor Lyrics and Other Poems, published in 1899. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery. (Vindicator 4-3-1933, 4-9-1933, 9-26-1937; Mahoning Valley Historical Society 3-17-17).
McGuffey, William Holmes September 23, 1800 – May 4, 1873
Educator (Born Washington County, PA; area resident)
Mr. McGuffey grew up in Coitsville Township and was educated at a log cabin school in Youngstown. He began teaching in Calcutta, OH at the age of 13. He was a professor at Miami University of Ohio and the University of Virginia, president of Ohio University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He was known for his series of school readers, The McGuffey Readers, which were published between 1836 and 1920. It is estimated that more than half the students of this time period used the six levels of Readers in their schooling, and their sales ranked up there with the Bible and Webster’s Dictionary. Some school districts today are returning to them because of their emphasis on honesty, hard work and moral integrity. McGuffey Road in Youngstown was originally the pathway that his father created for the children to go to school, and the site of his boyhood home was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1966. (Y – McGuffey, William H. folder; Vindicator 7-26-2004).
McKinley, William January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901
President (Born Niles, OH; resident of Poland, OH)
President McKinley’s family moved from Niles to Poland, OH when he was nine so that he could attend the Poland Union Seminary. He taught in Poland’s Kerr School District (1860-1861) and worked at the Poland post office. After serving in the Civil War, he studied law and worked for a law office in Youngstown. He was admitted to the bar in 1876 and practiced in Canton, OH. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1876-1891) and was governor of Ohio (1892-1896). He ran on the Republican ticket and won the presidential election in 1896 to become the 25th President of the United States. He was reelected in 1900. On September 6, 1901, he was shot by anarchist Leon F. Czolgosz and died eight days later. He is buried in Canton, OH at the McKinley National Memorial. His Niles home is now the McKinley Home & Research Center. (Vindicator 10-14-2002; The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents; Encyclopedia of the American Presidency; McKinley Museum).
McMillan, Reuben October 7, 1820 – June 23, 1898
Educator (Born Canfield, OH)
Mr. McMillan served as superintendent of the Youngstown Schools, on-and-off between 1853 and 1886. He was one of the five original founders of the Youngstown Library Association, which created a library for Youngstown in 1880. On March 5, 1898, the Youngstown Library Association was renamed the “Reuben McMillan Free Library Association” in his honor. For more information about the history of the Youngstown library, see Library History. (Y – McMillan, Reuben folder).
Meshel, Harry June 13, 1924 – Sept. 4, 2017
Senator (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Meshel grew up in Youngstown during the Great Depression. After graduating from East High School, he enlisted in the Navy; he served in the South Pacific during WWII. After the war, he attended Youngstown College, then Columbia University in NYC. He was an active businessman, working in investment, real eastate and insurance, before eventually returning to YSU as an adjunct faculty. He was elected to the Ohio Senate in 1971 and served five terms, including two years as president. In 1993, he resigned to chair the Mahoning County Democratic Party for two years. He served nine years as a Youngstown State University Trustee, and helped fund the school’s technology center, named Meshel Hall in his honor. He remained active in civic affairs until his death. (Vindicator 9-4-2017, 9-9-2017, 9-8-2017[obit]; Business Journal Tribute; WKBN Tribute).
Michael Stanley Band
Gismondi, Michael July 5, 1955 – (Born Youngstown, OH)
Markasky, Gary June 7, 1952 – (Born Youngstown, OH)
Pecchio, Daniel May 10, 1947 – (Born Youngstown, OH)
Formed in 1975 by Michael Stanley Gee (born Cleveland, OH), the Michael Stanley Band consisted of several members from Youngstown. This rock group was popular in Cleveland, and modestly successful nationwide throughout the 1970s and 80s. Their 1981 song “He Can’t Love You” peaked at number 33 on the Billboard Top 100. The band officially disbanded in 1987, although many of the members still play. Michael Stanley performs around Northeast Ohio with a number of former band members, and Gary Markasky formed his own group, the Gary Markasky Project, which consists of bassist Joe Fabian of Campbell, OH, and drummer Jeff Berger from Columbiana, OH. (Valley 24-Gary Markasky Project; All Music-Michael Stanley; Billboard-Michael Stanley Band).
Monus, Michael I. “Mickey” August 20, 1947 –
Phar-Mor Executive (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Monus co-founded the discount drugstore chain Phar-Mor in 1982, was vice president and general partner in the Colorado Rockies baseball team, partner and founder of the World Basketball League (WBL), and president of the Youngstown Pride (local WBL franchise). He made headlines in 1992 when it was discovered that he was involved in large-scale corporate fraud. He was convicted on 109 felony counts and charged with embezzling as much as $1 billion from Phar-Mor, mostly to bolster the failing WBL. In 1995, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $1 million, but the sentence was reduced and the fine halved after he cooperated with the FBI against another fraudster. He was forced to sell his shares of the Colorado Rockies, the WBL folded in 1992, and the last Phar-Mor store closed in 2002. (Drug Store News 3-1-1999; Newsweek 8-31-1992; Y – Phar-Mor Inc. folder).
Mooney, Edward Francis, Cardinal May 9, 1882 – October 25, 1958
Cardinal (Born Mount Savage, MD; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Cardinal Mooney’s family moved to Youngstown when he was 5 years old, where he attended St. Columba’s parish school. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the U.S., he received a doctorate in philosophy and a doctorate in theology at the North American College in Rome, Italy. He was ordained in Rome on April 10, 1909. He taught at St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland and founded the Cathedral Latin School there in 1916. In August 1922, he was appointed pastor of St. Patrick’s in Youngstown, which lasted only a short time before he became spiritual director at the North American College. He served with great diplomatic skill in India and Japan before being named Bishop of Rochester (New York) on August 28, 1933. During World War II, he acted as “spokesman for the Church in the U.S.” and supported the United Nations. When he was transferred to Detroit in 1937, he encouraged union organizing and founded the Labor Institute, which offered classes in social ethics. He was named a cardinal on February 21, 1946. Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown is named for him. (Catholic Hierarchy-Mooney; New Catholic Encyclopedia).
Nadzam, Rosemary September 13, 1931 – December 11, 2009
Children’s TV Program Host/Educator (Born Canton, OH)
Ms. Nadzam (née Kreuzer) graduated from Louisville High School (Stark County) and earned a degree in Education from Kent State University. During the 1960s she became “Miss Rosemary,” local host of the popular, franchised and syndicated children’s television program, Romper Room. Mrs. Nadzam also taught in Alliance and Youngstown City, retiring after 23 years. (Vindicator 3-7-2002, 12-13-2009[obit]).
Nielsen, Jerri March 1, 1952 – June 23, 2009
Physician (Born Salem, OH)
Dr. Nielsen attended West Branch High School and graduated form the Medical College of Toledo in 1977. In 1998, Dr. Nielsen took a one-year assignment as the only doctor for 40 scientists and support staff stationed at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station on Antarctica. After only four months, she found a lump in her breast. She taught a welder to do a tissue biopsy under her direction, using only ice to numb the area. The lump proved cancerous, but due to the cold she could not be flown out. The Air Force dropped chemotherapy drugs that she administered to herself for three months. On October 16, 1999, the temperature rose to -53 degrees, allowing an airplane to land for 20 minutes to pick her up. She had a mastectomy at Indiana University Hospital. She became a motivational speaker and wrote the book Ice Bound: A Doctor’s Incredible Battle for Survival at the South Pole. After a period of remission, the cancer returned in 2005 and Nielsen died in Southwick, MA at age 57. (Vindicator 7-17-2001, 6-25-2009[obit]; Lisbon Morning Journal 9-19-2003).
Olsavsky, Jerry March 29, 1967 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Olsavsky played at Chaney High School and the University of Pittsburgh. He was drafted in the 10th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1989, where he played until 1997, including Super Bowl XXX (1995). He then signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, but was waived after breaking his hand. So he moved on to the Baltimore Ravens in 1998. After coaching in various places, including Youngstown State University, he joined the Steelers coaching staff in 2010, and became inside linebackers coach in 2015. (Vindicator 10-29-1998, 3-25-2003; Total Football II; PGH Sports Now 6-27-2018).
O’Neill, Ed April 12, 1946 –
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. O’Neill played football at Ursuline High School and Youngstown State University. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1969, but was cut in training camp. He returned to YSU, where he started acting in the new theater program and also at the Youngstown Playhouse. Meanwhile, he worked as a social studies teacher at Ursuline. Since his acting debut in 1980, he has been in numerous films and TV series. He is best known for playing “Al Bundy” on Fox’s television series Married… With Children (1987-1997), for which he received two Golden Globe nominations. His current activity includes a key role in the award-winning sitcom Modern Family, for which he was nominated for three Emmy awards and four Screen Actors Guild awards. Mr. O’Neill received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. (Vindicator 3-15-1981; Cleveland Plain Dealer 1-14-1991; www.imdb.com; Hollywood Walk of Fame).
Owsley, Charles F. January 10, 1880 – March 17, 1953
Architect (Born Trumbull Co; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Following in his father’s footsteps, Mr. Owsley was a leading architect in Youngstown, and founder and first president of the Youngstown Rotary Club. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, and studying abroad in Paris, he began his career in Youngstown in 1904. In 1910, he became a junior member of the architectural firm Owsley, Boucherle & Owsley. When that firm dissolved, he began his own firm. He took a large part in the development of the business and cultural life of the city, designing many of the city’s best private and public buildings, including: Buechner Hall, South High School, Rayen School, Home Savings & Loan Co., First Federal Savings & Loan Co., St. Elizabeth Hospital, Mahoning Valley Sanitary District, Youngstown City Hall, and many other schools and residences. He died of a stroke in his home at age 73. (Vindicator, 3-18-1953[obit]; Vindicator, 3-19-1953; Metro Monthly, 8-1-2013).
Owsley, Charles H. December 15, 1846 – August 25, 1935
Architect/Designer (Born Leicestershire, England; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Owsley studied architecture at Allesley Park College at Coventry England, then moved on to apprenticeship in Wales. He immigrated to Toronto, Canada at age 22. Arriving in Youngstown in 1878, he joined in practice with Louis Boucherle, forming the firm Owsley & Boucherle. This firm designed some of the most beautiful structures in Youngstown, many of which still stand: the Young Men’s Christian Association, Dollar Bank, Tabernacle Church, G.M. McKelvey Building, South High School, Mercer County Courthouse, Mahoning County Courthouse, and the Reuben McMillan Library. The firm also designed many imposing private residences, elegant country homes, and a host of commercial properties. Mr. Owsley was a fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a 32nd degree Mason and a life member of the Elks. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Youngstown. (Vindicator, 8-26-1935[obit]; 20th Century History of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio).
Packard, James Ward November 5, 1863 – March 20, 1928
Packard, William Doud November 3, 1861 – November 11, 1923
Automotive Innovators (Born Warren, OH)
In 1890, the Packard brothers established the Packard Electric Company in Warren, which made incandescent carbon arc “Packard Lamps.” In 1898, Ward Packard bought a Winton automobile: he felt it needed improvement. When the owner of the Winton Company ignored his advice, he formed a partnership with one of Winton’s major stockholders, George L. Weiss, and William Packard to build automobiles as Packard & Weiss. The first Packard automobile was created in 1899. In September 1900, the company incorporated as the Ohio Automobile Company, which developed innovations such as the “H” pattern gearshift and steering wheel. The company was renamed the Packard Motor Car Company in 1902. By this time, their automobiles had attracted wealthy investors from Michigan, who gained control of the company’s stock and moved the company to Detroit in 1903. Ward Packard kept his stock and remained listed as president until 1909. (The company merged with the Studebaker Corporation in 1954, with the last Packard automobile made in 1958.) Returning their attention to the Packard Electric Company, the brothers sold the lamp business and focused on making automotive electrical systems, receiving over 30 patents on their designs. General Motors acquired the company in 1932, renaming it Delphi Packard Electric Systems in 1995. The company spun off and became independent of GM in 1999. William donated the land that became Packard Park, and the money to build W.D. Packard Music Hall to maintain the Packard Band. The National Packard Museum was established in Warren in 1990. (Automobile Dealers Association of Eastern Ohio 2-1965; Metro Eye 9-1995; The Packard Club).
Parise, Ronald May 24, 1951 – May 9, 2008
Astronaut (Born Warren, OH)
Dr. Parise was a graduate of Western Reserve High School and Youngstown State University. He received his doctorate in astronomy from the University of Florida. He began working for companies that provided technical support for NASA, and in 1984 was chosen as a payload specialist for the new NASA Spacelab ASTRO observatory missions. His shuttle flight was scheduled to launch in March of 1986, but the Challenger explosion caused a five-year delay. He eventually flew on both of the Spacelab ASTRO missions aboard the space shuttles Columbia (December 2-10, 1990) and Endeavor (March 2-18, 1995), logging more than 614 hours in space. Dr. Parise died at the age of 56 from brain cancer. In 2017, an Ohio historical maker about Dr. Parise was erected in Warren, at the Apollo 11 Neil Armstrong First Flight Memorial. (Vindicator 5-11-2008[obit], 5-25-2017; NASA-Parise bio; Who’s Who in Space).
Pataki, Michael January 16, 1938 – April 15, 2010
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Pataki enjoyed a long career that began in theater and expanded to television and film. As a character actor he performed roles in television series such as Star Trek, The Flying Nun, All in the Family, The Green Hornet and many others. In film, he appeared in Rocky IV, Easy Rider, The Onion Field, The Andromeda Strain, Airport ’77 and several horror films including Halloween 4. Other work includes voice-over roles in animated series, and co-producing with David Sheehan the stage presentation of Pippin. He died in North Hollywood, CA. (www.imdb.com; Fright News & Updates 4-26-2010; Variety 4-20-2010).
Patchen, Kenneth December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972
Poet/Novelist/Painter (Born Niles, OH)
Mr. Patchen was born in Niles but raised on Patchen Avenue in Warren. His father was a steelworker and he too worked briefly in the mills before deciding to focus on writing. His writing is considered experimental: he was more concerned with the way language could reflect emotions rather than following standard literary patterns. His poetry ranged from political to metaphysical to romantic, and he has been called “one of the great love poets of the century.” He also wrote plays and essays and invented “picture poems” where words and illustrations are inseparably combined into one work of art.
(Vindicator 11-7-1988; Encyclopedia of World Biography).
Pavlik, Kelly “The Ghost” April 4, 1982 –
Boxer (Born Youngstown, Ohio)
Mr. Pavlik attended both Lowellville High School and the Mahoning County Joint Vocational School, where he graduated in 2000. By then, Pavlik had already proven his skill in the boxing world: in 1998 he was both the National Junior Golden Gloves Welterweight Champion and National Junior PAL Welterweight Champion. The following year he was the U.S. National Under-19 Welterweight Champion. Immediately after graduating from school, Pavlik wasted no time and entered the professional ring, defeating Eric Benito Tzand in a 3rd round KO on June 16, 2000. A year later Pavlik defeated Grady Brewer in a 2nd round TKO. In 2005 he filled the vacant NABF Middleweight Title with a TKO of Fulgencio Zuniga. Pavlik successfully defended his NABF title twice, against Bronco McKart and Jose Zertuche. On September 29, 2007 Pavlik defeated Jermain Taylor for the WBC and WBO Middleweight title. He defended his world title three times, against Gary Lockett in 2008, and Marco Rubio and Miguel Espino in 2009. On April 17, 2010 Pavlik lost his title to Sergio Martinez in a 12-round unanimous decision. About a year later Pavlik re-tooled and entered the super middleweight division in a victorious fight against Alfonso Lopez. Temporarily sidetracked by alcohol abuse problems, Pavlik returned to the ring and ran off a string of victories against Aaron Jaco (May 7, 2011), Scott Sigmon (June 8, 2012), and Will Rosinsky (July 7, 2012) with trainer Robert Garcia. Seemingly on a title run, Pavlik decided to retire due to health reasons. He concluded his career on January 19, 2013 with a record of 40 wins (34 by KO), and 2 losses. After his retirement, Mr. Pavlik had several run-ins with the law. (BoxRec-Pavlik; Vindicator Pavlik News Coverage).
Pelini, Mark Anthony “Bo” December 13, 1967 –
Football Coach (Born Youngstown, OH)
A 1986 graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, Mr. Pelini played football (free safety) at Ohio State University from 1987-90, starting his final two years and becoming co-captain his senior year. In 1993 he returned to Youngstown to become quarterbacks coach at Cardinal Mooney High School. Mr. Pelini’s first taste of professional coaching came in 1994 when he joined the coaching staff of the San Francisco 49ers. In 1995 he was part of the Champion 49ers team that defeated the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. In 1997, he was hired by the New England Patriots under Coach Pete Carroll to once again work as defensive backs coach. Successive years of coaching experience included: linebackers coach with the Green Bay Packers in 2000, defensive coordinator at University of Nebraska in 2003, co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2004, linebacker coordinator at Louisiana State University, and then as head coach back at Nebraska from 2008-2014. Despite a record of 67-27 in seven years at Nebraska, Pelini was fired with four seasons left on his contract after failing to meet expectations for post-season championship play. On December 16, 2014, Bo Pelini accepted the head coaching position at Youngstown State University, a position vacated due to the firing of coach Eric Wolford. (Vindicator 12-17-2014; YSU Jambar 2-2-2017; ESPN-Pelini articles).
Pendleton, Austin March 27, 1940 –
Actor/Stage Director (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Pendleton has appeared in such movies as What’s Up Doc, The Front Page, Starting Over, The Muppet Movie, Short Circuit, My Cousin Vinny, Guarding Tess, and A Beautiful Mind. He provided the voice for the character Gurgle in Finding Nemo. He was “Motel the Tailor” in the original Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof, and was nominated for a Tony Award for directing the Broadway revival of The Little Foxes with Elizabeth Taylor (1981). (Vindicator 11-30-1986; www.imdb.com).
Policy, Carmen January 26, 1943 –
Attorney/Sports Executive (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Policy attended Ursuline High School and graduated from Youngstown State University in 1963. He went to law school at Georgetown University and passed the Ohio Bar in 1966. He practiced law until 1991, when he moved to San Francisco to become president of Debartolo’s 49ers. In 1998, he and Alfred Lerner teamed up in a successful bid to bring an NFL team back to Cleveland. He owns 10 percent of the Cleveland Browns, who debuted in the 1999 season, and was president and CEO of the team until 2004, when he retired from the NFL. He now lives on a vineyard in California. (Vindicator 9-9-1998; Who’s Who in America 2005; California Conversations-Winter 2007).
Powell, Craig November 13, 1971 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Powell attended Rayen High School and was named to Parade Magazine’s All-American High School Football Team in 1990. He attended Ohio State University (1992-1994) but left a year early to play for the Cleveland Browns (1995). Plagued by injuries, he played sporadically for the Browns, the Baltimore Ravens (1996), the New York Jets (1998), and finally the San Francisco Demons during the XFL’s only season (2001). (Vindicator 12-28-1990, 4-23-1995, 11-19-1996; Total Football II; XFL-Demons).
Rogers, Volney December 1, 1846 – December 3, 1919
Attorney/Naturalist (Born East Palestine, OH; resident of Youngstown, OH)
In 1890, Mr. Rogers was touring the Mill Creek Gorge by horseback. Its beauty inspired him to purchase all the available land in the area to preserve it for future generations. He authored the 1891 “Township Park Improvement Act” that permitted the Township of Youngstown to issue bonds and acquire the Mill Creek Gorge; this legislation paved the way for the development of the first park district in Ohio. Mr. Rogers also donated his land to the park and supervised the park’s planning and development. A sculpture of Volney Rogers now stands at the entrance of Mill Creek Park. He is buried in Tod Cemetery. (Y – Rogers, Volney folder; Sculpture Center-Rogers; Mahoning Memories; A Heritage to Share).
Saluga, Bill September 16, 1937 –
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Saluga, an Ursuline High graduate, first worked as a cameraman at WKBN-TV and was actively involved with the Youngstown Playhouse. He became famous for “Raymond J. Johnson Jr.,” a character he portrayed in commercials for Anheuser-Busch’s Natural Light Beer in the late 1970s. His routine “You can call me Ray, or you can call me J, or you can call me Ray J… but ya doesn’t have to call me Johnson” was created when he worked in the comedy group Ace Trucking Company. (Vindicator 2-11-1979, 11-30-1986; Akron Beacon Magazine 5-27-1979).
Samuels, Rae May 3, 1887 – October 24, 1979
Vaudevillian (Born Youngstown, OH)
Known as the “Blue Streak of Vaudeville,” Ms. Samuels started touring as a child. By 1911 she was a singing star, appearing in the 1912 Ziegfeld Follies. She played the Palace for the first time in 1914. In 1918, she was the first performer to sing Irving Berlin’s “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” She got equal billing with Al Jolson in The Honeymoon Express and was one of the highest paid women in vaudeville, earning $2,000 a week or more. She performed for almost 50 years before retiring in the early 1930s with her manager and husband, Marty Forkin. (Vindicator 11-15-1979; Encyclopedia of Vaudeville; The Vaudevillians).
Shavers, Earnie August 31, 1945 –
Boxer (Born Garland, AL; resident of Trumbull Co)
Mr. Shaver’s family moved to a farm in Braceville when he was 5 years old. He attended Newton Falls High School and didn’t start boxing until he was 22. He unsuccessfully fought heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in a 15-round World Boxing Council title bout September 29, 1977 at Madison Square Garden. Ali called him “The Acorn” because of his shaved head. In his second attempt for the title, he knocked out former champion Ken Norton in the first round, to face champion Larry Holmes on September 28, 1979 in Las Vegas. He missed the crown again in 11 rounds. He is known as the hardest hitting heavyweight of all time and was named “Puncher of the Century” by the International Boxing Association. Sixty-seven of his 73 winning matches ended with a KO. He now lives in Las Vegas and authored an autobiography, Welcome to the Big Time. (Vindicator 9-30-1977, 2-3-2000; Sports Illustrated 9-12-1977; BoxRec-Shavers bio).
Shuba, George “Shotgun” December 13, 1924 – September 29, 2014
Baseball Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Shuba started with the Montreal Royals, the top AAA farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1945. On opening day of the International League season, teammate Jackie Robinson hit a 3-run homer. Shotgun went up to bat: “Everyone was waiting to see if a white guy would shake his hand, and for me it was the only thing to do. And when I did, that picture went all over the country…” Mr. Shuba went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1948-1955, including the 1952, 1953 and 1955 World Series. In the 1953 series, he was the first pinch-hitter (National League) to hit a home run in a World Series. After baseball, Mr. Shuba wrote his memoir My Memories as a Brooklyn Dodger, became co-owner of L&R Sports, and worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 25 years. (Vindicator 4-18-1996, 10-5-2014[obit]).
Singer, Clyde October 20, 1908 – January 5, 1999
Painter/Curator (Born Malvern, OH; resident of Mahoning County)
Mr. Singer studied at the Columbus Art School until winning a scholarship to the prestigious Art Students League in New York City. In 1935, he made his breakthrough showing at the National Academy of Design and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Joseph Butler III, director of the Butler Institute of American Art, asked him to assist with curating and teaching at the Butler, an offer he accepted in 1940. He later became assistant director and curator for the Butler, as well as an art critic and columnist for the Vindicator. In his lifetime, he painted more than 3,000 works of art, mostly oils, specializing in everyday urban life and lovely ladies. He participated in more than 500 shows, won more than 40 prizes, and had more than 50 private showings. (Vindicator 5-20-1996, 1-6-1999; Cleveland Plain Dealer 8-4-1990; American Artist 2-1969).
Sinkwich, Frank October 10, 1920 – October 22, 1990
Football Player (Born McKees Rocks, PA; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Sinkwich was a football star at Chaney High School. He played for the University of Georgia (1939-1943), appearing in the 1941 Orange Bowl. At the 1943 Rose Bowl, he scored the game’s only touchdown to give the Bulldogs a win over UCLA. That same year, he was awarded the coveted Heisman Trophy. Professionally, he played for the Detroit Lions (1943-1944), New York Yankees (1946-1947), and Baltimore Colts (1947). He was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 1944. After he retired, he ran four beer-distributing companies. Chaney High School named their athletic field after him, and the Mahoning Avenue bridge was renamed the Frank Sinkwich Bridge in his honor. (Vindicator 4-26-1988, 4-29-1988, 10-22-1990, 10-28-1997, 8-1-1999; New York Times 10-23-1990[obit]; Total Football II).
Slezak, Victor July 30, 1957 –
Actor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Slezak attended Wilson High School. He started acting in Off-Broadway shows and touring companies, and once acted with fellow Youngstowner Ed O’Neill in “Of Mice and Men.” He also performed on Broadway, in TV shows such as Blue Bloods and As the World Turns, and in such movies as The Bridges of Madison County and The Devil’s Own. (Vindicator 11-30-1986; www.imdb.com).
Smith, Sherman November 1, 1954 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
After playing for North High School, Mr. Smith quarterbacked for Miami University where he led the team to three Mid-American Conference titles. He was a running back for the Seattle Seahawks for seven years: “The Tank” was one of their all-time leading rushers with 3,429 yards and 28 touchdowns. He was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1983, but injuries affected his career and he remained there only a year. He began his coaching career in 1984, first at the high school level, before moving on to Miami University and the University of Illinois. He became running back coach for the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) in 1995, then for the Washington Redskins in 2008, then for the Seattle Seahawks in 2009. He left the Seahawks in February 2017. (Vindicator 8-13-1983; Total Football II; AXS 2-20-2015; ESPN 2-17-2017).
Spencer, Ross H. August 21, 1921 – July 25, 1998
Writer (Born Hughart, WV; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Spencer’s family moved to Youngstown when he was an infant. After graduating from Chaney High School, he served in WWII and the Korean War. He settled in Chicago where he ran a landscaping business. In his spare time, he wrote mysteries. His first book, The Dada Caper (1978), as published when he was 57 years old. In 1987, he moved back to Youngstown; the settings of his novels moved from Chicago to Youngstown as well. He wrote 13 novels and over 100 works of poetry, before succumbing to cancer. (Vindicator 9-9-1990, 10-14-1991, 12-15-1991; Contemporary Authors Online).
Stevens, Harry Mozley June 14, 1855 – May 3, 1934
Concessionaire (Born London, England; resident of Niles, OH)
The Stevens family moved to Niles, OH, in 1882. By 1900, he was overseeing the ice cream and soft drink concessions for the New York Giants. On a very cold day in 1901 at the Polo Grounds, his usual fare of ice cream and lemonade was not selling. He offered sausages in buns with mustard instead, yelling “get ‘em while they’re hot!” He named his concoction “dachshund sandwiches.” Sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan (unable to spell “dachshund”) called them “hot dogs,” and the name stuck. Stevens was responsible for switching ballpark fare from ice cream and lemonade to peanuts and hot dogs. The Harry M. Stevens, Inc. concession business expanded to ballparks, racetracks, and convention centers all over the country, until it was acquired by Aramark in 1994. Mr. Stevens is buried at Union Cemetery in Niles, OH. (Telegram 5-4-1934; Nation’s Restaurant News 2-1996; Washington Post 9-18-1977; Ohio History Central; Dictionary of American Biography Supplement 7).
Stoops, Bob September 9, 1960 –
Football Coach (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Stoops played for Cardinal Mooney High School and was a defensive back at the University of Iowa. He coached in various capacities at the University of Iowa, Kent State University, Kansas State University and the University of Florida. He became the head coach at the University of Oklahoma in 1999, where he holds the record with the most wins in Oklahoma football, including the national championship in 2000. He retired June 7, 2017. (Vindicator 2-19-2001; Sooner Sports-Stoops bio; NCAA 6-7-2017).
Stoudt, Cliff March 27, 1955 –
Football Player (Born Oberlin, OH; resident of Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Stoudt was a star quarterback for YSU, leading them to their first ever post-season playoffs in 1974. Drafted in the 5th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1977, he played backup for Terry Bradshaw, watching from the sidelines while Bradshaw led the Steelers to four Super Bowl victories. In 1983, he got his chance and led the Steelers to a 9-2 start. But after losing four of the last five regular season games, the fans turning hostile, so he left to quarterback the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions (1984-1986). He also played for the St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1986-1988), Miami Dolphins (1989), and Dallas Cowboys (1990-1991). Later, his family settled in Greenville; his sons are enmeshed in football as well. (Vindicator 1-12-1984, 3-28-1984, 8-29-1986, 9-13-1987, 1-1-2014; Post & Courier 4-24-2014; Total Football II).
Stringer, Korey May 8, 1974 – August 1, 2001
Football Player (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Stringer attended Warren G. Harding High School, where he was an All-State tackle and a member of the 1990 Division I championship team. He was an All-American at Ohio State University (1992-1995), and a 1995 first round draft pick (24th overall) for the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he played offensive tackle. In 2000, he earned Pro Bowl honors. On August 1, 2001, Korey Stringer died of heat stroke, brought on by practicing in hot weather at the Vikings’ preseason training camp in Mankato, MN. His was the first heat stroke death in the NFL, but it brought about major changes for the League regarding heat illness prevention. He is buried in Pineview Cemetery in Warren. (Vindicator 4-23-1995, 8-2-2001, 8-7-2001; Total Football II).
Tarbell, Ida November 5, 1875 – January 6, 1944
Writer/Educator (Born Hatch Hollow, PA; resident of Poland, OH)
Ms. Tarbell was preceptress of the Poland Union Seminary in Poland, OH from August 1880 through June 1882. She was a writer for and editor of The Chautauquan, McClure’s Magazine, and The American Magazine. She won recognition for her exposé of the Standard Oil trust, History of the Standard Oil Company, which led to a federal government investigation and breakup of the monopoly. She is also famous for her biographical studies of Abraham Lincoln. Upon her death, the New York Times called her the “dean of women authors in this country.” (Vindicator 6-22-1942; New York Times 1-7-1944; Current Biography 1944; All in the Day’s Work).
Thomas, Sue May 1950 –
FBI Agent (Born Boardman, OH; resident of Columbiana, OH)
The PAX Network show Sue Thomas: FBEye was based on the real-life experiences of Ms. Thomas. Deaf at 18 months, she was taught to speak and read lips at the Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center. Though she faltered in school because there were no special programs, she persevered and graduated with degrees in political science and international affairs. Her career with the FBI started in 1979 with identifying fingerprints; she then became a lip-reader in undercover surveillance. After four years, she left to pursue other interests. Her autobiography Silent Night became the basis for the TV series which premiered October 2002, with deaf actress Deanne Bray in the lead role. In 2001, Ms. Thomas was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but she continues to travel as a motivational speaker. (Family Circle 2-17-2004; Lisbon Morning Journal 2-9-2004; The Real Sue Thomas).
Tod, David February 21, 1805 – November 13, 1868
Governor (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Tod was a “friend and supporter of Lincoln, leader of leaders in the Union cause, diplomat, lawyer, captain of industry and beloved citizen of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley.” He started practicing law in 1827, became postmaster of Warren in 1832, elected as Ohio senator for one term (1838-1839), ambassador to Brazil (1847-1851), and 25th governor of Ohio (1862-1864). In 1864, President Lincoln offered Tod the post of Secretary of the Treasury, which he declined for health reasons. He is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery. (Vindicator 4-19-1933; History of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley; http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/David_Tod).
Traficant, James May 8, 1941 – September 27, 2014
U.S. Congressman (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Traficant was quarterback at Cardinal Mooney High School and the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education. He was director of the Mahoning County drug counseling program for 10 years, earning a master’s in both administration and counseling, before winning election as Mahoning County sheriff (1981-1985). A resident of Poland, OH, he represented the 17th congressional district from 1985 until 2002, when he was convicted on federal charges of racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice, and tax evasion. When he was expelled from the House of Representatives on July 24, 2002, he became only the second House member since the Civil War to be kicked out of Congress. His sentence included 8 years in prison, three years of supervised release following his prison term, paying for his incarceration (up to $150,000), and paying $19,580 in unpaid taxes. He ran for re-election from prison as an independent in 2002, finishing third with 15% of the vote. He was released from prison on September 2, 2009 after serving 7 years, one month and three days. In 2010, he ran for congress again as an independent and finished third with 16% of the vote. A compilation of his congressional speeches, called America’s Last Minuteman, was published in 2011. Mr. Traficant was seriously injured on September 23, 2014, when a vintage tractor flipped over on him as he tried to park it inside a barn on the family farm in Greenford, OH. He died four days later. (Vindicator 7-30-2002, 8-6-2002, 12-30-2003, 9-2-2009, 9-28-2014[obit]; Akron Beacon Journal 12-27-1987; Who’s Who in America 2002).
Tressel, Jim December 5, 1952 –
Football Coach (Born Mentor, OH)
Mr. Tressel came to Youngstown in 1986 as the head football coach for Youngstown State University. He led the Penguins to four Division 1-AA national championships (1991, 1993, 1994, 1997), six appearances at the national championships, and 10 appearances in the Division 1-AA playoffs. He was chosen as Ohio Coach of the Year seven times, and has earned many national coaching titles. He was known for his community involvement and for encouraging scholarship among his players. He became the 22nd head coach at Ohio State University on January 18, 2001. In his second year at OSU, the team won their first national championship since 1968 at the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, defeating the unbeaten University of Miami in double overtime. The team achieved the first 14-0 season record in major college football since 1897. Due to reports of rules violations during the 2010 season, further NCAA investigation uncovered other misconduct and he was forced to resign as head coach on May 30, 2011. His overall record at Ohio State was 106-22, which, combined with his YSU years, gives him a career record of 241-79-2. His teams had a 6-4 bowl record, a 5-3 mark in BCS bowl games, and a 9-1 record against the Michigan Wolverines and appeared in three BCS National Championship Games and seven Big Ten Conference championships. On September 2, 2011, Tressel was hired by the Indianapolis Colts as a consultant, with his service suspended until the 7th game of the season due to his former NCAA violations. On February 2, 2012 he accepted an administrative position at the University of Akron as Vice President of Strategic Engagement. In support of YSU, Jim Tressel and his wife Ellen were key donors for the construction of a new athletic training facility, which was co-named in their honor as the Watson & Tressel Training Site. With the resignation of Randy Dunn as YSU President, Jim Tressel applied for the position and was named the ninth President of YSU; his term began July 1, 2014. In recognition of his achievements in College Athletics as a coach, Mr. Tressel was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December 2015 in New York City. (Vindicator 1-4-2003, 5-31-2011, 2-3-2012, 8-8-2012, 5-13-2014, 1-9-2015; NFF 2015 College Football Hall of Fame; YSU Newsroom 1-9-2015).
Triplett, Mel December 24, 1931 – July 25, 2002
Football Player (Born Indianola, MS; resident of Girard, OH)
Mr. Triplett’s family, including brother Bill, moved to Girard in 1944. During his junior and senior years at Girard High School, he was working full-time in a steel mill while participating in football, basketball, baseball, track and gymnastics. Married in his sophomore year of high school, he worked full-time while attending the University of Toledo on a football scholarship. By the time he was drafted by the New York Giants in 1955, he was the father of four. He was with the Giants until 1960, including their 1956 World Championship win. He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1961, and retired from professional football the following year. (Vindicator 8-11-2002; Total Football II; Full Tilt to the NFL: Steel Valley Heroes).
Triplett, William “Bill” May 9, 1940 –
Football Player (Born Indianola, MS; resident of Girard, OH)
Like his brother Mel, Mr. Triplett was a football star at Girard High School. He attended Miami University of Ohio and was a first round draft pick for the New York Giants, who immediately traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals for a quarterback and a draft choice. He played for the Cardinals in 1962 and 1963, but was diagnosed with tuberculosis and missed the entire 1964 season. He returned to play for the Cardinals (1965-1966), the New York Giants (1967), and the Detroit Lions (1968-1972). (Total Football II; Full Tilt to the NFL: Steel Valley Heroes).
Upton, Harriet Taylor December 17, 1854 – November 2, 1945
Suffragist/Writer (Born Ravenna, OH; resident of Warren, OH)
When James A. Garfield became president in 1880, Miss Harriet Taylor’s father was appointed to Garfield’s vacated congressional seat. She accompanied her widowed father to Washington, D.C. There she met and married lawyer George Upton in 1884. In 1890, Mrs. Upton joined the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). Working closely with mentor Susan B. Anthony, she committed the next 30 years to passing the 19th Amendment. From 1903 to 1910, she ran the day-to-day operations of the NWSA from the national headquarters at her home in Warren. From 1899 to 1908, and from 1911 to 1920, she was president of the Ohio Women’s Suffrage Association. In 1920, Mrs. Upton was appointed the first woman Vice Chairman of the National Republican Executive Committee. She stepped down from the position in 1924, when she made an unsuccessful bid for her father’s congressional seat. Besides her political writings, Mrs. Upton wrote many historical books for children and adults, including A Twentieth Century History of Trumbull County, Ohio, and History of the Western Reserve. In the 1940’s, she moved to Pasadena, California. Her home, the Upton House, is currently a National Historic Landmark. (Business Journal 10-1998; MVHS Newsletter 3-1998; Vindicator 3-27-1938, 8-28-1960, 9-9-1984; Upton House; Encyclopedia of Women’s History in America; Notable American Women 1607-1950).
Wagner, Paula December 12, 1946 –
Film Producer (Born Youngstown, OH)
Born Paula Kauffman, Mrs. Wagner started acting at the Youngstown Playhouse at age 13. After graduating from Hubbard High School and Carnegie Mellon University, she worked as an actress in New York for 10 years. She then became a talent agent at Creative Artists Agency in LA. She represented some of Hollywood’s top names, including Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and Demi Moore. In 1993, she and Cruise started Cruise/Wagner Productions. Their first release was Mission:Impossible. The global success of this film earned them a Nova Award from the Producers’ Guild of America. The company has produced several Mission:Impossible sequels, and many other critically acclaimed films including The Last Samurai, Jack Reacher, and War of the Worlds. (Current Biography 1998; Vindicator 6-1-2000, 8-28-2004; www.imdb.com).
Warfield, Paul November 28, 1942 –
Football Player (Born Warren, OH)
Mr. Warfield was an All-American at Warren G. Harding High School and Ohio State University, and a first round draft pick for the Cleveland Browns (1964-1969). He also played for the Miami Dolphins (1970-1974, including 3 Super Bowls), the World Football League’s Memphis Southmen (1975), and again for the Browns (1976-1977). He is recognized as one of the premier wide receivers of the NFL. He was on the All-Pro team six times, elected to eight Pro Bowls, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame his first year of eligibility in 1983. In 2013, Warren dedicated a life-sized statue and monument to him and his career. (Vindicator 7-24-1983, 7-2-2017; Total Football II; www.profootballhof.com/players/paul-warfield).
Harry December 12, 1881 – July 25, 1958
Albert July 23, 1884 – November 26, 1967
Samuel August 10, 1887 – October 5, 1927
Jack August 2, 1892 – September 9, 1978
Motion Picture Moguls (Born Poland & Canada; residents of Youngstown, OH)
The three older Warner brothers were born in Krasnosielc, Poland; Jack was born after the family immigrated to London, Ontario. The family settled in Youngstown in 1896. Sam began as a projectionist at Idora Park; believing in the possibilities of film, he bought an Edison Kinetoscope. The brothers took the projector on the road, presenting Life of an American Fireman (1902) and The Great Train Robbery (1903) in tents to mining towns across Pennsylvania and Ohio. They opened the Cascade, their first theater, in New Castle, PA, in 1903. In 1904, they founded Duquesne Amusement & Supply Company to distribute films; they branched out into producing films, and by 1918 they had opened the first Warner Bros. studio in Hollywood. The success of their first film, My Four Years in Germany, lead to the establishment of Warner Brothers Pictures, Inc. (1923). Sam would push the company into making “talking pictures”: he procured the technology to produce the industry’s first feature-length talking picture, The Jazz Singer (1927). However, he died the day before the films premier. As a tribute to Sam, the Warners built the opulent Warner Theater in Youngstown, which opened May 14, 1931. It still stands as the De Yor Performing Art Center and is home to the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. As for their company, in 1989 it merged with Time, Inc. to become Time-Warner, Inc. In 2016, Time-Warner was acquired by AT&T. Warner Bros Entertainment, a subsidiary of Time-Warner, remains one of the leading movie and television producers in the world. (Vindicator 11-4-1935, 8-15-1938, 8-16-1938, 8-17-1938, 8-19-1938, 6-20-1941; Metro Eye 4-1997; Ohio Magazine Feb 2017; http://www.timewarner.com/company; Youngstown’s Warner Theater history; http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Warner_Brothers).
Wells, Heather October 29, 1989 –
Miss Ohio (Born Warren, OH)
Ms. Wells was crowned Miss Ohio 2013. She had attempted to win the title six times before, meanwhile earning a degree from Kent State University. She used her reign as Miss Ohio to promote her platform, Divorce Recovery for Youth. She represented Ohio in the Miss America 2014 pageant. (KSU News 7-12-2013; WFMJ 6-24-2013).
White, William “Bill” DeKova January 28, 1934 –
Baseball Player (Born Lakewood, FL; resident of Warren, OH)
Mr. White began his major league career as first baseman for the New York Giants in 1956. After being drafted and serving in the Army, he returned to play for the [San Francisco] Giants in 1958. He then played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1959-1965 & 1964 World Series win; and then again in 1969), and the Philadelphia Phillies (1966-1968). He became an announcer for the New York Yankees in 1970, and called the games for 18 years. In 1989, he became the first African-American President of the National League, serving through 1994. In 2011, he published his autobiography, Uppity: My Untold Story About the Games People Play. (Business Journal Mid-January 2000; Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia).
Wilkins, Jeff April 19, 1972 –
Football Player (Born Austintown, OH)
Mr. Wilkins attended Fitch High School and Youngstown State University. He was the most prolific kicker and scorer (373 points) in YSU football history, and one of the top placekickers in the NFL. He played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1994), the San Francisco 49ers (1994-1996), and the St. Louis Rams (1997-2008, Super Bowl 34 & 36). The Wilkins family currently lives in Canfield. (Vindicator 8-29-2013; YSU Athletics Hall of Fame).
Wolfe, Derek February 24, 1990 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Wolfe attended Beaver Local High School, playing football and qualifying for state finals as a junior and senior. He attended the University of Cincinnati, and was named the Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. In 2012, he was drafted in the second round (36th overall) by the Denver Broncos. Four years later, he contributed to the Broncos winning Super Bowl 50. In 2015, Mr. Wolfe received the Lou Holtz/Ohio Valley Hall of Fame Banquet’s Lifetime Achievement Award. (ESPN 2-6-2016; Broncos Player Profile).
Woods & Bray, the Wonder Dancers
Woods, Frances March 21, 1907 – July 17, 2000 (Born Girard, OH)
Bray, Billy July 29, 1904 – March 23, 2000 (Born Connellsville, PA)
Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! called this husband and wife dance team “The Wonder Dancers”: Frances was a deaf-mute. Billy (née Anthony Caliguire) and Frances (née Esther Richina Thomas) met in 1924 when he was teaching dance classes. They married in 1926. Billy taught Frances to dance by playing different rhythms on the piano, which she followed from vibrations in the floor. To keep the focus on their dancing, they kept her deafness a secret; but after five years of touring, the truth was discovered and they became a media sensation. The couple specialized in ballroom dancing and the very physical Adagio & Apache dancing, where Frances was twirled above Billy’s head or was flung across the stage. After retiring from touring, they opened a dance studio in Youngstown in 1958, and continued to dance at nursing homes and charity events well into their eighties. They were awarded the Ohio Governor’s Award in 1978. They moved to Spring Hill, FL in 1998. (Vindicator 7-10-1977, 8-11-1991; Austintown Leader 2-1-1984; The Wonder Dancers: Woods & Bray; http://www.deafpeople.com/history/history_info/woods.html).
Woods, Rose Mary December 26, 1917 – January 22, 2005
Nixon’s Secretary (Born Sebring, OH)
Ms. Woods worked as a secretary for Royal China, Inc. in Sebring before becoming a secretary on Capital Hill. Newly elected senator Richard Nixon made her his personal secretary in 1950; she remained in that position throughout his presidency. While transcribing the subpoenaed White House tapes during the Watergate investigation, she admitted to accidentally erasing four or five minutes, but denied erasing the entire missing 18½ minutes. The missing conversation between President Nixon and his chief-of-staff, H.R. Haldeman, may have revealed whether Nixon knew about the Watergate break-in. Though questioned for three days, prosecutors could not disprove her story and she was not charged with obstruction of justice. She was very close to the Nixon family: the president asked her to tell his wife and daughters about his resigning. She accompanied Nixon to California and continued to work for him there before moving to Alliance, OH in 1976. (Washington Post 1-24-2005; New York Times 1-23-2005).
Zordich, Mike October 12, 1963 –
Football Player (Born Youngstown, OH)
Mr. Zordich attended Chaney High School and Pennsylvania State University (1982-1986). During his senior year of college, he was named All-American and Penn State’s Player of the Year. He played for the New York Jets (1987-1988), the Phoenix Cardinals (1989-1993), and the Philadelphia Eagles (1994-1999). His wife, Cynthia, conceived the idea for a book about what happens to players when their professional careers are over. Her photographs are part of the finished project When the Clock Runs Out. (Vindicator 2-2-1982, 2-3-1987; Total Football II).