The New Pittsburgh Courier is pleased to recognize and introduce the 2011 50 Men of Excellence, nominated by our readership. Together, they represent the power brokers, philanthropists, and activists of the city of Pittsburgh. They are corporate executives, educators and civil servants, but a common thread of drive and devotion runs through each of them.

These men reflect the strong moral character possessed by African-American men across the country. Their triumphs in their personal and professional lives serve as unending ammunition for those wishing to dispel the negative stereotypes of African-American men seen on television and heard on the radio.


For the second year, the Courier has added a special recognition to its list of 50 men with the legacy award. This year’s legacy honoree is Eric Springer, a lawyer who served in the civil rights battle for many years behind the scenes.

Springer is most known for his work in public health law and his involvement with the Brown vs. Board of Education decision that led to the integration of African-American and White students. He co-founded one of the first health care law firms in the country,

Springer first came to Pittsburgh in 1956 to join the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh as associate professor in the School of Law and research professor in the Graduate School of Public Health. He would later go on to become the first African-American head of the Allegheny Bar Association.

Currently, Springer serves on the board of Duquesne Light Company and is a Trustee Emeritus of the Presbyterian-University Hospital of Pittsburgh as well as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Springer is also married to the noted community activist Cecile Springer. Recognized for her own impact on the Pittsburgh community, Cecile Springer is a 2008 50 Women of Excellence honoree.

The Legacy Award is reserved for individuals who have reached achievements above and beyond others, while also dedicating themselves to giving back to those less fortunate. This year the 50 Men of Excellence will also recognize the late John Adams, Nate Smith, Armon Gilliam, Dave Epperson, and El Gray.

This year’s event will be held on Oct. 27 at the Fairmont Pittsburgh Hotel from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This year’s event will be sponsored in part by UPMC, Highmark, Community College of Allegheny County, Slippery Rock University, Falk Foundation, Citizen’s Bank and the University of Pittsburgh.

We congratulate this year’s honorees on their many achievements and urge them to continue their hard work and dedication to reshaping the Pittsburgh region.

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