Newsmaker: Thomas White
Residence: West View
Family: Wife, Justina; son, Tommy; and daughter, Marisa
Education: Bachelor of Arts in history, La Roche College, 1997; master's in public history, Duquesne University, 1999
Background: As an archivist at the Heinz History Center from 1999-2005 and now Duquesne University, White took an interest in the strange tales and legends of the region, including ghost stories, urban legends and "news of the weird," he said. He collected some of those from the Pittsburgh region into three books: "Legends and Lore of Western Pennsylvania," "Forgotten Tales of Pennsylvania" and "Ghosts of Southwestern Pennsylvania." With most stories, he tries to find the grains of truth to them, or the social fears, trends and attitudes that created them, he said.
Notable: White recently published his fourth book, "Forgotten Tales of Pittsburgh," which focuses specifically on stories from the Pittsburgh region and is meant to be a lighter read than some of his other books, he said. The tales he collected include the "Evil clown panic" of 1981 -- second- and third-hand accounts of men in clown or superhero costumes abducting children -- and famed inventor Nikolai Tesla's attempts to sell Westinghouse Corp. his designs for a "death ray," which disappeared into government hands after his death.
Quote: "Legends have a 'half-life,' and some legends tend to disappear. I want to record a lot of those before they do."
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.