Last week, maryrose wrote a tribute piece to the Rooney family. As usual, it was a thoughtful piece of commentary about what the family has meant to the game, the fans, the players and their families who played for him, and for the city of Pittsburgh itself.
Turns out, one of the folks who stumbled across the story was Mr. Lowell Perry Junior, the son of Lowell Perry, the first African American assistant coach in the NFL. Perry, who injured himself early on in his career with the Steelers, was told by Mr. Rooney that he had a job with the organization so long as he owned the franchise. In true Rooney fashion, he stuck to his word. You can read more about Lowell Perry Senior's life in this 2001 article written shortly after his passing.
Perry Jr. has had a remarkable career himself. After graduating from Yale, he went on to a successful and very diverse professional career in sports, business, entertainment, and now leadership. He held a front office job in the Seattle Seahawks organization, had a role in the blockbuster hit, Dejavu, starring Denzel Washington, and now, most impressively, he serves as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee. Last year, he was named the CEO of the year by BBSA. Very impressive.
Anyway, it is a treat to see the son of such an important member of our franchise's history drop in to comment on a story. It's also a blessing that maryrose is able to write the kind of historical pieces that bring folks to the discussion table to help keep the important memories alive and fresh in the minds of all of us Steelers fans.
To the Lowell family and to the Rooneys,