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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: March 27, 2024 04:20 PM
From: Representative Justin C. Fleming and Rep. Nick Pisciottano, Rep. Jim Marshall
To: All House members
Subject: Mario Lemieux Day in Pennsylvania
In the near future, we plan to introduce a resolution honoring an exceptional athlete, philanthropist, and businessperson, Mr. Mario Lemieux to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Pittsburgh Penguins drafting him with the first overall pick in the 1984 National Hockey League (NHL) entry draft, and declare June 6, 2024 Mario Lemieux Day in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania due to the #66 jersey number he immortalized.
Mario Lemieux was a hall-of-fame hockey player whose brilliant NHL career spanned 17 seasons and only 915 total games. In that time, he amassed 690 goals (11th all-time), 1,033 assists (12th all-time). His 1.88 points per game ranks 2nd all-time behind Wayne Gretzky. Additionally, Lemieux was a 10-time all-star, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year, won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s top scorer five times, won the Hart Memorial Trophy thrice as the league’s most valuable player, was a two-time Conn Smythe Trophy recipient as the most valuable player in the playoffs, and won a total of five Stanley Cup Championships as both a player and owner.
However, Lemieux’s on-ice accolades only tell part of the story. With a promise to keep the team in Pittsburgh, and as the team’s largest creditor following a bankruptcy filing, Lemieux took a controlling stake and put a group together to buy the Penguins. In September, 1999 Lemieux became the President, Chairman, and CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins. As part of his ownership bid, Lemieux made a pledge to pay every creditor the organization owed and followed through on that promise.
Finally, Lemieux’s philanthropic work will leave a legacy for years to come. Following his own Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis in 1993 created the Mario Lemieux Foundation to fund medical research and support families in challenging medical situations. When his son, Austin, was born prematurely and spent 71 days in the NICU, it led to the establishment of Austin’s Playroom which creates play spaces for children undergoing medical treatment. The foundation has given to many organizations including the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh. To date, the Mario Lemieux Foundation has committed more than $37 million to cancer research and patient care initiatives in the Pittsburgh region and beyond

Please join me in honoring one of Pennsylvania’s enduring sports heroes, philanthropists, and business professionals, “Le Magnifique” Mario Lemieux. 

Introduced as HR466