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Newsmaker: Leah Pileggi

Leah Pileggi, a Pittsburgh writer who recently had her first two books published.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 11:15 p.m.

Noteworthy: Pileggi, a Pittsburgh writer, recently had her first two books published: “Prisoner 88,” a historical novel for middle-grades youth based on the true story of a 10-year-old boy who was the youngest person incarcerated in the Old Idaho Penitentiary; and the nonfiction “How to Design a World-Class Engineering College: A History of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.”

Age: 55

Residence: Oakland

Family: Husband, Larry, daughter Hannah

Background: Pileggi was a legal secretary and then a stay-at-home mother before beginning her writing career about 10 years ago. She is working on two book projects — a historical novel that explores race relations in Pittsburgh in the 1950s, and a children's nonfiction book about the Fort Pitt Block House. She developed an interest in historical writing while touring the penitentiary in Boise, where she learned of the 10-year-old boy's story.

Education: Bachelor's degree from University of Pittsburgh, 2004

Quote: “That's how I got hooked on history, because I just had to know this child's history. Everything (I write) now has to have some relationship to history.”

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