If you have been following my Black History posts you may have notice several amazing firsts that originated in our city. Here is another to add to the list. Actually, this man has several momentous firsts to his name. He is Charles “Chuck” Cooper and he is a Pittsburgh native.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh he attended Westinghouse High School before serving in World War II. He then went on to have a record-breaking basketball career at Duquesne University. While at the University he was awarded captain of the team and became the first Black college basketball player to play in the south. The firsts didn’t stop there. After graduating he played briefly with Harlem Globetrotters and became the first Black man to be drafted into the NBA. 

Chuck Cooper’s NBA career was cut short by an injury but that did not stop him from continuing to make firsts.  After getting his master’s degree in Social work he came back to Pittsburgh to make a different type of impact. He served on Pittsburgh Public School Board and was the first Black department director while serving in Parks and Recreation.

Charles ‘Chuck’ Cooper was an inspiration on and off the court.


Previous articleFreedom House – The First EMT’s
Next articlePoint Zero Paris
Lanae is lifelong Pittsburgh resident with a brief stint in Ohio for her high school and middle school years. Most of her life she lived in Wilkinsburg but recently became a resident of the north boroughs. Lanae holds an associates’ degree in fashion merchandising and a bachelor’s degree in business management. After college, Lanae, entered the insurance and financial services industry by becoming a licensed agent and a claims specialist. Lanae also is an advocate for cloth diapering and baby wearing. Through her website drybabies.org she offers information and sources offering cloth diapering to all women and families in need. With two boys and 3 girls ranging in ages from 18- 2 most of her time is spent traveling to ballet lessons, band practice, and cello lessons. Also, two of her children are special needs and require various appointments and therapy. When there is time left, she enjoys writing, sewing and cooking. She is currently finishing up her first novel with more already in the works. With a love for travel, Lanae and her family have been to 5 different Caribbean islands and 2 countries in South America. So, look to hear more about the organized chaos that is traveling with 5 kids.