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It is with heavy-heart that we announce the passing of Albert Lexie on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
Albert Lexie, formerly of Monessen, shined shoes at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh from 1982 to 2013. Just about every Tuesday and Thursday, Albert left his home at 5:50 a.m. to arrive at Children’s at 7:25 a.m. to begin shining shoes.
Through the years, he gave all of his tips – more than $200,000 – to the Free Care Fund, which ensures that all Children’s patients receive the medical care they need regardless of their families’ ability to pay. What makes this gesture so awe-inspiring is that Mr. Lexie only earned about $10,000 a year.
At age 15, Mr. Lexie built a shoeshine box in high school shop class. At UPMC Children's Hospital he made shoes sparkle for $3 a shine. Usually, customers give him a little extra for “my kids,” as Mr. Lexie called them.
Over more than three decades, he donated all the tips he earned from his shoeshine business to Children’s Hospital’s Free Care Fund. Mr. Lexie referred to the patients and children at UPMC Children’s as “Albert’s kids.”
Mr. Lexie received several awards over the years for his 28 years of charity work, including:
In addition, Lexie was featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Jane Pauley Show, and the CBS Evening News.
Shoe Shiner Turns 30 Years of Tips Into $200,000 in Gifts
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 02/25/13
How shoe-shiner has given $200K to Pittsburgh children's hospital
Los Angeles Times, 02/23/13
Hospital Has A Shoeshine Saint
CBS News, 02/11/09
Institute recognizes 13 caring Americans of all ages
USA Today, 10/16/06
Children's makes job easier for a favorite donor
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 08/06/03
Albert Lexie: A Shining Example
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Visit Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation's website to make a donation online.