Friends Remembered: Jim Roddey

Jim Roddey, right, poses with Hero Fund President Eric Zahren and a resolution the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission presented to him at the December board meeting. The resolution thanked Jim for being a friend to the Hero Fund.

Dear friend of the Hero Fund, Jim Roddey, 91, died in Pittsburgh on Thursday, March 7, 2024.

Roddey was born in 1933 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Through his weekly radio program Heroes, Roddey provided worthy attention to the heroic actions of individuals recognized by the Hero Fund. Mr. Roddey’s efforts served to bring further attention and foster public appreciation for Carnegie Heroes, and the virtues which they represent.

Roddey was known by many in the Pittsburgh region and beyond. In addition to using his talents on the radio, Roddey had a long career in business and politics. He served as the first chief executive of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, from 2000 to 2004, and was a former chairman of the Republican Party in Allegheny County. Roddey continued his public service as a member of Pittsburgh’s fiscal oversight board, the Allegheny County Port Authority, the Pittsburgh Water Authority, Alcosan, and a trustee for the University of Pittsburgh.

Roddey was a graduate of Texas Christian University and a former captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. His more than 50-year business career included the presidencies of Turner Communication Corp., Rollins Communications Corp., Wexford Health Services, and others.

Active in civic, community, and governmental affairs, Mr. Roddey served on the boards of 40 such organizations, 15 of which he chaired. Mr. Roddey received more than 60 local, state, and national awards from a variety of governmental, industry, civic, educational, and non-profit organizations, including three honorary doctorates, a Distinguished Alumnus Award, and was selected as Pittsburgh Man of the Year.

Roddey is survived by his wife, Elin; a son, James; and a daughter, Margaret Elin O’Neal.