Black History Month Program Honors McKeesport's Hadley

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Announcements

McKeesport Regional History and Heritage Center will mark Black History Month with a program celebrating the life and work of longtime local physician Dr. Matthew R. Hadley.

Attorney James Baldwin will discuss Hadley during a program titled "Dr. Hadley: A Doctor for All Things and All People," at 2 p.m. Feb. 18 at the center, located at 1832 Arboretum Drive in Renziehausen Park.

Hadley, a White Oak resident and a longtime leader on the medical staff at McKeesport Hospital, was well-known in the Mon-Yough area for his dedication to his profession and to the patients he served, and was one of the few African-American doctors in the Pittsburgh area during a time when most medical schools were all but closed to non-white students.

Committed to children and community, Hadley practiced medicine for more than five decades before retiring in 1971. According to a 1985 profile in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Hadley grew up in Cleveland and was a graduate of Howard University Medical School in Washington, D.C.

He set up his practice in McKeesport's First Ward in 1929 as a general practitioner who also delivered 600 babies, including former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder and Elizabeth Forward High School graduate Bill Robinson.

In the mid-1940s, Hadley began to specialize in lung diseases and eventually became McKeesport Hospital's chief of pulmonary medicine, president of the staff and director of outpatient clinics. In retirement, he served on the hospital's board of trustees as well as 33 different committees until his death in January 1986 at the age of 89; he is buried in McKeesport-Versailles Cemetery.

A scholarship is awarded each year in Hadley's honor by the McKeesport High School Alumni and Friends Association.

The event Feb. 18 is free and open to the public. For more information, call (412) 678-1832 or visit the center's website.

Originally published February 06, 2017.

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