The eldest of nine children born to Russian immigrants in Richmond, Va., Alexander Sharove (1893-1955) came to Pittsburgh with a scholarship to the Carnegie Institute of Technology School of Architecture, where he was a student of Henry Hornbostel.
As a principal in the architectural firm of Sharove & Friedman, and later working independently, Sharove designed synagogues for Beth Shalom Congregation and Tree of Life Congregation in Squirrel Hill and additions for Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside and B’nai Emunoh in Greenfield. The firm also contributed to the design of B’nai Israel Congregation in East Liberty. Although B’nai Israel is commonly attributed to Hornbostel, the Sharove family found documents suggesting Sharove & Friedman led the design. Sharove also designed synagogues in small towns throughout Western Pennsylvania, including Monessen, Kittanning, Washington and Johnstown, and numerous restaurants, stores and homes across the region, including several facades on Fifth Avenue in Uptown.
He married Ada Bloch, a kindergarten teacher and the daughter of early Rodef Shalom members Andrew and Tessie Bloch. They had three children, Amy, Tessie and David.