Masloff, Sophie
Interview Date
April 22, 1994
[T1S1] Elected president city council under Mayor Richard Caliguiri. Served 7 months until his death, devastated by it. Sworn in as Mayor, 5/7/88. Finished term, ran for another, won. First Jewish woman Mayor. Chose not to run again; age and stress main factors. Comments on supposed missing funds, not true; also, relationship with Mayor Murphy. Discusses property on Second Ave., Union Switch and Signal, Crawford Roberts Development on Hill District, 500 units there. Respondent often referred to as Jewish grandmother, not always happy about it. Discusses daily meetings with staff. Problems with money; went to Washington and Harrisburg to lobby. Mentions people who left her staff. Banks refused to give low interest loans, took business away until they gave in. Notes situation with Pittsburgh. Pirates. Comments on firemen and police, well paid.
[T1S2] Instituted plan to give free smoke alarms. Expresses feelings about various people on council. Touches on business travels to China and Japan. Traveled to Germany, visited Bergen-Belsen; Babi Yar in Russia. Strongly felt Mayor's duty to do what has to be done, not always popular. Tried for funding from foundations and federal government, nothing worked.
[T2S3] Great proponent of women. Reflects on what she would like present mayor to accomplish. Describes relationship with mayor and county commissioners. Dealing with personalities difficult. Encountered antagonism in settling bus strike.
[T2S4] Believes first role of politics, stay in limelight. Engages in discussion on Republican and Democratic parties, downfalls. Mentions Elsie Hillman, sale of Gimbels building, difficulties involved. Impressed with trip to Washington, DC for signing of Israel Peace Pact, most significant event. Trips taken not paid for by City of Pittsburgh; purpose to promote Pittsburgh., invited by various countries. Questions current of anti-Semitism in council. Teaches informal class at Carlow College, rewarding. Provides update on grandchildren and daughter, not impressed with Respondent's work as politician.
[T3S5] Respondent feels people on city council try to uphold honesty. Mentions Mayor Lawrence; strong party always effective. Believes Pittsburgh. not always properly recognized. Suffered setbacks when steel mills left. Comments on Pittsburgh. as transplant center, high tech center, Second Ave., Herrs Island. Tried to attract industry.
[T3S6]. Touches on meetings with heads of corporations, other mayors. Commends PNC bank. Tried to rebuild Fifth Ave., from Grant to Wood Sts., no cooperation from some businesses. Comments on Pete Flaherty, Tom Forester, Jim Ferlo, Judge Larsen.
Caliguiri, Richard S., 1931-1988; Crawford Roberts Development (Hill District (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Hillman, Elsie
Birth Date
Pittsburgh, PA
Mayor of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh City Council
Squirrel Hill; Hill District; Roberts St.
Length (hours)
Weiss, Selma
Sachs, Sylvia
Braun, Howard
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 104 FF 24
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh