William Augustus “Gus” Greenlee

William Augustus “Gus” Greenlee

Marion, McDowell County, North Carolina, USA
Death 7 Jul 1952 (aged 56)
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Memorial ID 5806 · View Source
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Businessman, owner of the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team. William Augustus "Gus" Greenlee was born near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Marion North Carolina. In 1916, Greenlee migrated north to Pittsburgh becoming a racketeer and bootlegger. He put the fortune he made into the Crawford Bar & Grill and the Pittsburgh Crawfords baseball team. He also built Greenlee Field, the first ballpark in the United States owned by a black man. The Crawfords were the best financed baseball team in the sport and featured some of the finest talent to be found. In 1935, they won the Negro League National pennant. LeRoy "Satchel" Paige, William Julius "Judy" Johnson, Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson all played under Greenlee. All four are now in the baseball hall of fame. His nightclub was also a popular Pittsburgh attraction, boasting such celebrity clientele as Duke Ellington, Lena Horne and Nat King Cole. Greenlee was also known to be a generous man, giving charitable contributions to the needy. He died of a stroke in Pittsburgh.

Bio by: Michael Cannon


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 2 Jul 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5806
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Augustus “Gus” Greenlee (26 Dec 1895–7 Jul 1952), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5806, citing Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .