Joseph M Barr
Mayor of Pittsburgh, born May 28, 1906, in the city, the son of James P. and Blanche E. Moran Barr, James received his education at the University of Pittsburgh, with a degree in Business Administration. He worked as a salesman; was a member of the Democratic State Committee, 1936-1940; State and County President of the Young Democratic Clubs; chair of the Young Democratic Club of American National Convention, 1938; and chair of the National Organization Committee Young Democratic Clubs of America. In 1940 he became the state's youngest state senator serving the region in Harrisburg. His career in Harrisburg roughly coincided with David L. Lawrence's reign as Pittsburgh mayor. He was instrumental in being Pittsburgh's advocate and used his tenure to push through many of the local reforms needing state help, including the “Pittsburgh Package.” Elected mayor in 1966, he was instrumental in completing many of the Lawrence programs, while at the same time having the city's infrastructure catch up to all the progress that Lawrence instituted. He oversaw the completion of both Three Rivers Stadium and the Pittsburgh Civic Arena, both having bogged down in heated political disputes during Lawrence's tenure. As a well-connected leader of the Commonwealth, Barr was among the founders of the Finnegan Foundation memorializing Pennsylvania Secretary of State James A. Finnegan. He died on August 26, 1982, at Homewood, Allegheny County (Pittsburgh); interred at St. Mary Cemetery, Pittsburgh.