Dennis Roddy

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Dennis Roddy
Born 1954 (age 59–60)
Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Residence Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Education University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) Greensburg Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Press
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Spouse(s) Joyce Gannon
Children 4 children Liam Anthony Dennis Roddy, Gavin Alexander Roddy, Seamus Aiden Roddy, Mairead Anna Roddy

Dennis Brian Patrick Roddy is special assistant to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett,[1] and a former columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.[1]

Education[edit]

A native of Johnstown, Roddy was born the 4th of 5 children to an Irish American family. His father, Robert Roddy, Sr., was a steelworker and negotiator for the United Steelworkers of America.[2] He attended St. Benedict’s parochial school in Geistown, Pennsylvania.[2] He attended University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. As a student, he took a part time job as a newswriter at WJAC-TV and later the Nanty Glo Journal and the Portage Dispatch.[2]

Career[edit]

Following graduation, Roddy accepted a position at the Tribune-Review in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a position he held for 8 years before joining the Pittsburgh Press as a political reporter.[2] In 1992, the financially ailing paper was purchased by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Roddy joined its staff.[1][2] In 1996, the Scripps Howard News Service began syndicating his political column across a dozen newspapers across the country.[1]

An August 1998 profile of Roddy in Pittsburgh City Paper described him as having a knack for "getting into places other reporters find unobtainable -- the USAir jet crash site, President Clinton's limousine, a hotel elevator with presidential candidate Gary Hart and an attractive young woman."[2] The article said that Roddy's "wit, his storytelling skills, his Irishness, infuse the paper. Readers -- whether they notice his name on top of stories or not -- gain their impression of what's going on around Pittsburgh, what's amusing and what's tragic about it, from Roddy. Many of the stories he tells linger in the mind a long time."[2]

His notable articles have included a profile of Jerry Bowyer, Joe Waldholtz's financial crimes, and a powerful article describing an 8-year-old's testimony in a rape trial.[2] In 1994, his award-winning article The Messenger Boys provided a first-hand account of an Irish Republican Army bomb attack in Belfast that killed 10.[2] The City Paper article noted that he has "gone further than most reporters would dare in writing about his own family life," including familial discord and his Irish Catholic upbringing.[2]

In September 2007, Roddy wrote an article about the impending divorce between Pittsburgh billionaire newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife and his wife Margaret Ritchie Battle Scaife.[3] The reporting in the article was supported by documents that Roddy obtained from documents inadvertently published on the internet by the Allegheny County Family Court.[4] Scaife's suit and criminal complaints against Roddy were thrown out of court.[4][5]

Other writings and awards[edit]

Roddy wrote the foreword to the book Pennsylvania 24/7 by Rick Smolan and David Elliot Cohen.[6] His work has been cited in A Force Upon the Plain by Kenneth S. Stern,[7] The Hunting of the President by Joe Conason and Gene Lyons,[8] and Blood and Politics by Leonard Zeskind.[9]

In 2000, he was named "top columnist in the nation" by the Scripps Howard Foundation and he was named "top humor columnist" by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the Western Pennsylvania Press Club.[1] In 2004, he received an "Honorable Mention" Keystone Press Award for his column from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.[10] In 2005, he was named one of "Pennsylvania's Most Influential Reporters" by the Pennsylvania political news website PoliticsPA.[11] In 2008, the political website PolitickerPA.com named him one of the "Most Powerful Political Reporters" in Pennsylvania.[12]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Dennis Roddy lives! And he may be posting in a blog near you!". Pittsburgh City Paper. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hammond, Ruth (August 1998). "Portrait of the Artist As a News Man". Pittsburgh City Paper. 
  3. ^ Roddy, Dennis (September 16, 2007). "Millions up for grabs in Scaife divorce fight". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  4. ^ a b Dietch, Charlie (October 4, 2007). "DA investigating Post-Gazette's use of Scaife court records". Pittsburgh City Paper. 
  5. ^ Twedt, Steve (September 23, 2007). "Scaife demands documents from Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 
  6. ^ Smolan, Rick; David Elliot Cohen (2004). Pennsylvania 24/7 : 24 hours, 7 days : extraordinary images of one week in Pennsylvania. DK Pub. ISBN 978-0-7566-0079-2. OCLC 56605994. 
  7. ^ Stern, Kenneth (1996). A Force Upon the Plain : The American Movement and the Politics of Hate. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-81916-7. OCLC 33664807. 
  8. ^ Conason, Joe; Gene Lyons (2000). The Hunting of the President. New York: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-0-312-24547-4. OCLC 44266083. 
  9. ^ Zeskind, Leonard (2009). Blood and Politics : the History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-10903-5. OCLC 243544894. 
  10. ^ "2004 Keystone Award Winners - Division 1". Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. 27 September 2004. Archived from the original on 2005-03-21. 
  11. ^ "Pennsylvania's Most Influential Reporters". PoliticsPA. 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-01-09. 
  12. ^ Edge, Wally (July 21, 2008). "Most powerful political reporters". PolitickerPA.com (The Observer Media Group).