PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new book chronicles the accomplishments of Sophie Masloff, Pittsburgh’s only female mayor.
Masloff never aspired to be mayor. But when Mayor Dick Caliguiri died from a rare disease in May 1988, Masloff, as president of city council, was sworn in as mayor.
She served from 1988-94.
“She was underappreciated. People never realized what she did for the city and what an important public servant she was at the time,” said Barbara Burstin.
Burstin, author of “Sophie: The Incomparable Mayor Masloff” says Masloff fought many obstacles.
“As a woman, she always felt that she was not given the recognition, that she had to overcome their disdain and disparagement,” Burstin said.
Masloff was a 72-year-old grandmother with a squeaky voice who often committed gaffes. But she had immense charm and never took herself seriously.
Masloff steered the city through tough economic times. She had the vision to build a ballpark on the North Shore, a plan that drew substantial criticism.
“She always felt that if she had been a man and proposed a baseball park, that would have been accepted,” Burstin said.
On Thursday night at the Heinz History Center, the biography will be released.