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News Releases

For Immediate Release

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Says Happy Birthday to Shoeshiner and Philanthropist Albert Lexie with a Special Gift


A birthday party will be held to celebrate Albert Lexie’s 61st birthday. Lexie will be presented with a custom-made cart to push his shoeshine supplies.


Lexie has been shining shoes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh since 1982, carrying the same shoeshine box he crafted in high school at age 15. Lexie’s customers and friends in Children’s radiology department, particularly Ricki Smith, an administrative assistant, wanted to do something special for Lexie’s birthday.

For 20 years, Lexie has carried the heavy shoeshine box, which weighs more than 30 pounds, over his shoulder. Seeing the box is cumbersome and in need of repair, his Children’s customers decided to help get Lexie a cart to push his supplies as a special birthday present. The cart is being donated by Salco Engineering & Manufacturing, Inc. of Jackson, Mich.


To date, Lexie has donated nearly $87,000 to Children’s Free Care Fund, which ensures all children receive medical care regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Lexie charges only $3 for a shoeshine and donates all of his tips to the hospital. Lexie’s story has been featured in Reader’s Digest, People, former Ohio Sen. John Kasich’s book, “Courage is Contagious: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things to Change the Face of America” and on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Nearly every Tuesday and Thursday for the past two decades, Lexie has left his house at 5:50 a.m. to arrive at the hospital at 7:25 a.m. to shine shoes.


Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2003
2 p.m.


Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
3705 Fifth Ave.

Read more about Albert Lexie.

Melanie Tush Finnigan, 412-692-5016,
Marc Lukasiak, 412-692-5016,

Last Update
February 22, 2008
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Last Update
February 22, 2008