Famous People
Been here, played here, dined here, worked here ...
CELEBRITIES:

Kirk Cameron - The Clay Center in Charleston hosted a Christian conference led by Kirk Cameron and his mother,
Barbara Cameron, the weekend of October 4, 2008.  Kirk showed up at the screening of his new movie "Fireproof"
on Saturday, October 4th at the Great Escape 12 Cinemas in Nitro, much to the surprise and delight of the many
movie goers.

Clark Gable - An Academy Award winning actor, The King of Hollywood worked in Nitro in 1918 at the age of 17.  He
was a laborer, digging ditches & pushing wheelbarrows for 6 months.  Although his official biography does not
mention him working at Nitro, there is a
1947 Charleston Daily Mail interview with him that verifies he worked here.

Minnie Pearl - ate at Diehl's Restaurant in 1960, the 1st year they were open.  She sat in booth #3 in the front right
corner as you walk in the front door.  Her picture is on display on that wall in the corner.  Minnie Pearl was the stage
name of Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon (October 25, 1912 - March 4, 1996), a country comedienne who appeared at
the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years (from 1940 to 1991) and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to
1991.  She would have been 48 years old when she ate at Diehl's.

Rod Stewart - was at the Nitro Public Library and at the Nitro Hobby Shop.  It seems that he is into Model Railroads
which is what he was checking out at the library and the hobby shop.



POLITICAL FIGURES:

Robert C. Byrd - West Virginia Senator has been here several times.  The last time was for the 31st Street Bridge
dedication in 1998.

Shelly Moore Capito - Congresswoman has been in Nitro numerous time, including 2006 to dedicate the War
Memorial at the Children's Park

Senator John Edwards - John Kerry's VP running mate campaigned here on August 21, 2004 at the Nitro
Community Center.

Hubert H. Humphrey - U.S.Presidential candidate campaigned here in 1960

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones - rallied the support of the Putnam County Miners from John Wade's store on 17th
Street & 3rd Avenue during the labor unrest in 1920

John F. Kennedy - U.S. Presidential candidate campaigned here in May 1960.  According to an article in the May 1,
1960 Charleston Gazette, "He appeared before the Kanawha Valley Unitarian Fellowship in North Charleston and
before overflow crowds in the City Hall Auditorium at Nitro and the junior high school at St. Albans".

John D. Rockfeller, IV - Was the guest speaker at the Nitro High School graduation in June 1968.




SPORTS RELATED:

Robert Alexander - Running back who played high school football for the South Charleston Black Eagles, West
Virginia University and the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.  His high school team played at Nitro in 1975 defeating the
Wildcats 28-0.  Alexander ran for 202 yards & scored 4 TDs.  He also competed in other sports versus Nitro.

Bobby Bowden -  Coach Bobby Bowden spoke at Nitro's All-Sports Banquet on Thursday night, May 15, 1970 at
Nitro High School.  Most people say he was there to recruit Jack Eastwood, Nitro's up and coming football star.  It
must have worked, as he signed Jack to a full athletic scholarship to West Virginia University a couple years later.  
Coach Bowden also brought his Mountaineer football team to town in 1975 for an intrasquad scrimmage at
Underwood Field.

Gale Catlett - the winningest basketball coach in WVU history was at the Nitro - St. Albans game recruiting Brett
Nelson, the St. Albans star player.

Harlem Globetrotters - played a game at the Old Nitro High School

Darryl Evans - married LaDonna Martin, a stewardess & Nitro native, in 1975

Al Kaline - was here at a Baseball Card Show as the guest of Rusty Casto

Randy Moss - a 1998 1st Round Draft Pick of the Minnesota Vikings and star NFL receiver.  He played high school
football, basketball, baseball & track for the Dupont Panthers against the Nitro Wildcats in 1993-1994-1995

Gaylord Perry - was here at a Baseball Card Show as the guest of Rusty Casto

Bobby Richardson - was here at a Baseball Card Show as the guest of Rusty Casto

Brooks Robinson - was here at a Baseball Card Show as the guest of Rusty Casto

Willie Stargell - was here at a baseball card show as the guest of Rusty Casto.  Willie played 21 seasons for the
Pittsburgh Pirates before his retirement after the 1982 season.  He died on April 9, 2001 at the age of 61.

Harold Joseph "Pie" Traynor  -  Worked in Nitro in 1918 as a "car checker".  His duties put him on horseback 12
hours a day checking the arrival and departure of railroad freight cars. It was a somewhat dangerous job as he
ended one shift covered in blood after being thrown from his horse.  The accident left a small, but noticeable scar on
his forehead.  He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1920-1937 and was the first 3rd baseman ever inducted into
the Baseball Hall of Fame (1948).  He was born 11-11-1899 and died 03-16-1972.

Jerry West - West Virginia University star and NBA logo, West played high school basketball for the East Bank
Pioneers.  In Jerry's last game in Nitro, he scored 36 points as East Bank defeated Nitro 72-61 on Friday night
February 24, 1956.

Jason Williams - 7th pick in the 1998 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings, Jason played high school basketball for
the Dupont Panthers and was a teammate of Randy Moss. He played several games in Nitro against the Wildcats.
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