Penguins public address announcer dies

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Long-time Penguins public address announcer and former Central Greene School District principal John Barbero died tonight. He was 65 and lived in Roscoe, Washington County.

Mr. Barbero had been on medical leave since the end of the 2008-09 season because of a brain tumor.

Known for his distinctive calls -- particularly the flowing way he announced the last name of Mario Lemieux when the Hall of Fame center scored -- Mr. Barbero began announcing at Mellon Arena (then Civic Arena) during the 1972-73 season.

"A whole generation of Penguins fans, that's all they knew," said Penguins Vice President Tom McMillan. "He had such a distinctive voice."

According to his son, Brady, and the Penguins, Mr. Barbero missed only five or six games over more than three decades before going out on leave.

"It meant the world to him. He loved the Penguins," Brady Barbero said. "There wasn't an away game that he didn't watch, either."

Mr. Barbero began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey, working dances and for radio station WESA. He began his teaching career in the Ringgold School District and retired as a principal in the Central Greene School District in 2004.

In addition to his son Brady, of Washington County, he is survived by a daughter, Melissa of Scottsdale, Ariz., another son, Brett of Washington County, and three grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were not complete.

Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette or 412-263-1721.


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