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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – Dr. Thomas Starzl and activist Dorothy Mae Richardson are among the subjects of 18 new state historical markers given approval by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

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The commission announced selections Thursday. The markers were selected from a group of 55 nominees and will be added to about 2,300 that have previously been installed along the state’s roadways.

Starzl performed the first successful liver and kidney transplants and became the foremost authority on transplantation. He launched the UPMC transplant unit and developed the immunosuppressant drug that is used worldwide to prevent organ rejection. Starzl died in 2017.

Dr. Thomas Starzl (Photo Credit: University of Pittsburgh Medical Center)

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Richardson was an activist from the central North Side who launched Neighborhood Housing Services in 1968. Neighborhood Housing Services was a progressive resident-led model of community development to combat poor and unsafe living conditions by changing financial lending practices in urban neighborhoods. Her program drew the attention of federal officials.

In 1978, the program was replicated with the founding of NeighborWorks America, a congressionally chartered nonprofit that supports community development.

Other newly approved subjects and topics include Pandenarium in Mercer County and Charles Freemont West (1899-1979) and the Marianna Mine Explosion in Washington County.

More information on Pennsylvania’s Historical Marker Program, including how to nominate an individual or organization for a historical marker, can be found at

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