Pittsburgh Magazine announces Mario Lemieux as 2012 Pittsburgher of the year

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Magazine has named Mario Lemieux, Co-Owner and Chairman of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chairman of the Mario Lemieux Foundation, as Pittsburgher of the Year for 2012.

 This annual award, which is announced in the January 2013 issue of Pittsburgh Magazine, recognizes the person or persons who have had the most dramatic and positive impact on the city and region in the past year and have left a legacy for the future.

 Editors cited Mr. Lemieux’s personal involvement in the new Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers at UPMC’s Hillman Cancer Center as a motivating factor for his selection. The Mario Lemieux Foundation donated $3 million for the center’s creation. Lemieux was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1993 at the age of 28.

 “The Mario Lemieux Foundation has made a significant impact on our region since its inception in 1993,” says Julie Talerico, Pittsburgh Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief. “From The Lemieux Sibling Center and Austin’s Playroom at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Lemieux Family Center to the new Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers, Mr. Lemieux has positively impacted thousands of lives with his generosity,” she says.

 This is Mr. Lemieux’s second Pittsburgher of the Year honor. He was also selected in 1999, after acquiring partial ownership of the Penguins. Mr. Lemieux joins Teresa Heinz Kerry and August Wilson as repeat winners.

 This is the 27th year that Pittsburgh Magazine has named a Pittsburgher of the Year. Previous winners of the prestigious award include Jim Rohr, PNC Bank chairman, philanthropists Henry and Elsie Hillman, playwright August Wilson, transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas Starzl, Dr. Randy Pausch, and Coaches Mike Tomlin and Dan Bylsma.

 Pittsburgh Magazine will honor Mr. Lemieux and all previous honorees at a cocktail reception January 17. The private event is sponsored by PNC Bank.

 The Pittsburgher of the Year honor is accompanied by a special January issue cover story. This year’s feature was written by Pittsburgh Magazine sports and online editor Sean Conboy. The issue will be available on newsstands in late December.