William Glick (c.1862-1932) immigrated to Pittsburgh from Russia about 1887. The following year, he brought over his wife, Mollie David Glick (c.1862-1931), and their sons, Daniel and Abraham Louis. Glick worked as a shoe maker before going into real estate. In Pittsburgh, they had six more children, Peter, Etta, Frank, David, Naaman and Florence. They lived at 1336 Fifth Avenue in Uptown and then at 30 Stevenson Street in the Hill District. By 1920, the family had moved to 713 Maryland Avenue in Shadyside.
Peter Glick (b.1889) attended Shady Side Academy and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1911 with a law degree. He was the assistant city solicitor for the city of Pittsburgh from 1914 to 1918 and secretary of the state Department of Labor and Industry, starting in 1929 under Governor John S. Fisher. In 1917, he married Gertrude Solomon Darling. They had five children, Louise, Sara, Peter Jr., Marjorie and Bruce.
Etta Glick (b.1892) was director of playgrounds for the city Bureau of Recreation.
Frank Glick (1893-1979) was among the first Jewish football stars in the country. He was a star quarterback at Central High School and was regularly listed among the top high school players of his generation. The Pittsburgh Leader called him “the best man that has ever handled a ball around this part of Pennsylvania.” Glick played during the early days of the forward pass, when quarterbacking still centered largely on the rushing game. While never considered a great play caller, he was known as being “tireless and aggressive,” and also played at halfback, where he was praised for his tackling, interference and punt returns. He started playing football on local collegiate teams at the age of 13, while still in high school. “I was the ‘ringer’ who played on any team that needed a player,” Glick later said, according to the Encyclopedia of Jewish Sports. “Usually it was on Friday afternoon before going to synagogue.” Glick attended Central High School at the same time as Verner Callomon and the baseball and basketball star David “Lefty” Abrams.
As an undergraduate, Glick joined the Princeton University Tigers in 1912, playing quarterback and halfback. He excelled in his first three seasons and achieved legendary status after leading a comeback attempt against the rival Yale Bulldogs in 1914. The Tigers were down 19-0 at the start of the fourth quarter but scored two touchdowns in the last 12 minutes of the game, including one by Glick. Glick called for an onside kick. The Tigers recovered the ball but were unable to score again before the clock ran out. Despite the loss, the team unanimously elected Glick to be their captain for the 1915 season. In high school and college, Glick also played basketball and baseball and ran track.
While at Princeton, Glick co-authored an open letter from the Princeton student leadership opposing military drills on campus. He later served in both World War I and World War II. After graduating from Princeton, Glick coached the backfield at Princeton and was head coach of the Lehigh University football team for one year. He spent the rest of his professional life in various fields, including manufacturing, retail and management.
While sailing to Mexico in the late 1920s or early 1930s, he met his future wife, Virginia Kirkus (1893-1980). In 1933, she started reviewing galleys of soon-to-be published books. Her business, Virginia Kirkus’ Bookshop Service, later became Kirkus Reviews.
David Glick (1895-1964) worked briefly for the Falk American Potato Flour Company a young man. During World War I, he served as a first lieutenant with the American Expeditionary Force in France. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard Law School, he and Allen Berkman opened a legal practice. Over the course of his career, Glick served on many legal, Jewish and philanthropic boards locally. He was a one-time president of the Allegheny County Bar Association and a trustee of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. He was active at Rodef Shalom Congregation and helped found Temple Sinai in 1946. Every five years between his graduation from Harvard Law School in 1924 and his death, he produced a “Class Quinquennial,” providing biographical information on every member of his class.
Between 1936 and 1939, on behalf of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Glick made a series of secret trips to Germany to help Jews escape the Nazi regime. He met with many high-ranking Nazi officials, including Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich and Karl Haselbacher. “Having spent two years under Hitler, I know the meaning of the words liberty and freedom, even though I cannot define them,” he wrote in the December 1960 issue of the Harvard Law School Bulletin, in one of his few public statements about the mission.
In 1932, Glick married Pescha Kagan, of Washington, Pa., who was a nationally known piano prodigy. While on vacation with her parents in Cambridge Springs, a four-year-old Kagan began improvising on a piano in the hotel. A musician who heard her advised her parents to find a professional instructor, advice that launched a successful career. Kagan performed publicly for the first time in a radio recital on KDKA when she was only 10. She gained a national reputation, performed across the United States, and regularly returned to Pittsburgh to perform for the Y Choral Society.
“It was good luck that made me turn the dials of my radio yesterday afternoon to see what might be coming over the air in the way of good music, and right then came that intriguing opening phrase of Chopin G Minor Ballad played by someone who knew his business,” a music critic for the New York Evening Journal wrote in January 1936. “I heard it all the way through, this difficult composition with its alternate moods of poesy and fire, and then came the announcement of the pianist. It was Pescha Kagan, and I predict, right here, that this is a name the music world will soon be talking about.”
The William Glick family were cousins of Yosef Selig Glick (1852-1922), who published Der Volksfreund, a weekly Yiddish newspaper in Pittsburgh.