Photo of Ken Gormley and his book, the Heiress of Pittsburgh


"The Heiress of Pittsburgh" a novel by Ken Gormley

"'The Heiress of Pittsburgh' is a twisty, fulfilling legal thriller, in which the city of Pittsburgh takes center stage alongside a cast of memorable characters. Loved this book!"
- SCOTT TUROW, internationally-renowned author and lawyer  

All proceeds from sales of this novel will be donated to a special initiative at Duquesne University, in the College of Arts, to support a new generation of young writers in developing their craft and pursuing their writing talents.

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Attorney Shawn Rossi could have earned a fortune. He could have worked at big firms in booming cities and sunnier climes.

Instead, he returned to Pittsburgh, the struggling steel town of his youth - to help regular people.

And now he's doubting his life decisions.

His wife has just died and his teenage daughters are getting piercings and staying out all night. His professional life is equally in shambles: He's handling an unwinnable estate contest, and representing the one person he vowed never to get near again: his ex-college flame, Marjorie.

Even for Rossi, this case appears hopeless. A coffin shows up with the wrong corpse. Nuns from a secretive home for unwed mothers can't break their vows of silence to testify.

The family is about to lose everything.  

New York Times bestselling author Ken Gormley delivers a powerful drama about the decent, largely-forgotten qualities that once were the bedrock of simple towns whose inhabitants built America. "The Heiress of Pittsburgh" reawakens hope that the precious qualities of past generations can be reimagined to create a dazzling new future. But only if a few courageous people are willing to boldly redefine success.

Advance Praise for "The Heiress of Pittsburgh"

"A whole lot of the Burg and a whole lot of other good things in The Heiress of Pittsburgh-family histories, courtrooms, neighborhoods, loves lost and found, styles of remembering and speaking. A complex, intriguing narrative about a place and people I connect with intimately. Thank you for writing and sharing."
- JOHN EDGAR WIDEMAN, acclaimed author and PEN/Faulkner Award recipient

Pittsburgh, bringing out the secrets of family and the importance of neighborhoods, always showing us how the choices we make can make a difference."
- FRANCO HARRIS, legendary Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Pro Football Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl Champion

"Gormley's skills with language, dialogue and narrative bring his wonderful, unpretentious and utterly genuine characters to life. This is a book for all who love the authenticity of a regional culture and the grace of a writer who can bring it to life."
- MAXWELL KING, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

"'The Heiress of Pittsburgh' is a love story that contains all the unique flavors of Pittsburgh-the history, the folklore, the stories inherent in each neighborhood, its colorful residents, and the tale of the heyday of the industrial three rivers region. The charming hero, lawyer Shawn Rossi, bears the weight of the city's underbelly while striving to bring justice to his beloved birthplace. Gormley illuminates this journey with humor and an ample dose of humanity."
- CONSTANZA ROMERO WILSON, widow of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson; Tony Award-nominated costume designer

"'The Heiress of Pittsburgh' is an inspirational, multigenerational epic about leaving home and finding it again, with a deep love for Pittsburgh on every page."
- NICK & RACHEL COURAGE, founders, Littsburgh.

"Gormley has written a moving and compelling story which captures the heart and essence of the real Pittsburgh and its people with unmatched authenticity."
- LEE GUTKIND, Founding Editor, Creative Nonfiction Magazine

"We all want to write that first novel about our home town...about the one that got away...about mystery and loss, sacrifice and truth. Ken Gormley just waited 30 years to do it. Take a look people."
-  DAVID CONRAD, film, TV and stage actor

'"Did you ever wonder what makes a place like Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh?" the hero of Ken Gormley's debut novel asks. The author sure knows. Part courtroom drama, part family saga, part teen romance, The Heiress of Pittsburgh is a generous, warm-hearted paean to the Steel City.'
- STEWART O'NAN, author of Everyday People and Emily, Alone

"'The Heiress of Pittsburgh' features an entertaining cast of characters along with many twists and unexpected turns. Ken Gormley's novel provides a window into the bygone culture of the ethnic melting pot that existed for more than a century in the steel valleys of western Pennsylvania. It is a compelling and enjoyable story."
- ART ROONEY II, President, Pittsburgh Steelers

Books and Contributed Chapters

American Presidents and the Constitution (Gormley, ed.), NYU Press (2015).

"Impeachment and the Independent Counsel: Collision in the Capitol" in The Clinton Presidency and the Constitutional System (Roseanna Perotti, ed.) at 163 (Texas A&M University Press, 2012).

"Archibald Cox" in American National Biography (Oxford University Press) (2012).

The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown Publishers/Random House (2010).

"Archibald Cox," in The Yale Biographical Dictionary of American Law (Roger K. Newman ed.) (Yale University Press 2009).

"Archibald Cox" (book chapter) in The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, (2007).

Foreword to Chinese translation of The Court and the Constitution, "Archibald Cox" (Peking University Press 2006).

The Pennsylvania Constitution: A Treatise on Rights and Liberties (George T. Bisel Co., 2004), (Ken Gormley principal editor) (with Bauman, Fishman & Kozler) (supplement 2014).

Great American Judges: An Encyclopedia, (John R. Vile, ed.), ABC-CLIO (2003) (chapter on Judge Learned Hand).

Great American Lawyers: An Encyclopedia, (John R. Vile, ed.), ABC-CLIO (2001) (chapters on Archibald Cox and William M. Evarts).

Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation, hardback published by Addison-Wesley (1997), paperback published by Perseus Books (1999).

The Pennsylvania Legislative Reapportionment of 1991 (1994, Commw. of Pa. Press).

Law Review Articles

"Chief Justice Ralph J. Cappy: An Epilogue," 47 Duquesne L. Rev. 681 (2009).

"Carol Los Mansmann: Lawyer, Judge and Public Servant," 46 Duq. L. Rev. 5 (2007) (with an introduction by Supreme Court Justice Samuel J. Alito, Jr.)

"Judicial Review in the Americas: Comments on the United States and Mexico," 45 Duquesne L. Rev. 393 (2007).

"Education as a Fundamental Right: Building a New Paradigm," 2 Forum on Public Policy 207 (University of Illinois) (2006).

"The Forgotten Supreme Court Justices," 68 Albany L. Rev. 295 (2005).

"In Memoriam: Archibald Cox," 118 Harvard L. Rev. 8 (2004).

"The Lawyer as Artist" in "Symposium: The Lawyer as Poet Advocate: Bruce Springsteen and American Law," 14 Widener Law J. 753 (2005).

"Exploring a European Union Constitution: Unexpected Lessons from the American Experience," 35 Rutgers L.J. 69 (2003).

"Foreword: President Truman and the Steel Seizure Case: A Symposium,"41 Duquesne L. Rev. 667 (2003).

"The Silver Anniversary of New Judicial Federalism," 66 Albany L. Rev. 101 (2003).

"Racial Mind-Games and Reapportionment: When Can Race Be Considered (Legitimately) In Redistricting?" 4 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 735 (2002).

"Monica Lewinsky, Impeachment, and the Death of the Independent Counsel Law: What Congress Can Salvage From the Wreckage - a Minimalist View," 60 Maryland L. Rev. 97 (2001).

"Impeachment and the Independent Counsel: A Dysfunctional Union," 51 Stanford L. Rev. 309 (1999).

"An Original Model of the Independent Counsel Statute," 97 Michigan L. Rev. 601 (1998).

"The Short-Lived Burial of Miranda," 59 Albany L. Rev. 1725 (1996).

"The Pennsylvania Constitution After Edmunds," 3 Widener J. Pub. L. 55 (1993).

"One Hundred Years of Privacy," 1992 Wisconsin L. Rev. 1335 (1992).

"Privacy and the States," 65 Temple L.Q. 1279 (1992) (Gormley & Hartman).

"Foreword: A New Constitutional Vigor For The Nation's Oldest Court," 64 Temple L. Rev. 215 (1991).

"The Kentucky Bill of Rights, A Bicentennial Celebration," 80 Kentucky L. J. 1 (1991) (Gormley & Hartman).

"Significant Developments In State Constitutional Law, 1988," 2 Emerging Issues in State Constitutional Law 1 (1989).

"Project: State Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure: A Primer for the 21st Century," (Gormley ed.) 67 Oregon L. Rev. 689 (1988).

"Ten Adventures In State Constitutional Law," 1 Emerging Issues in State Constitutional Law 29 (Inaugural Issue, 1988).

"Private Conspiracies and the Constitution - A Modern Vision of 42 U.S.C. §1985(3)," 64 Texas L. Rev. 527 (1985).

Miscellaneous Legal Publications

Article, "Heading in the Right Direction," PENNSYLVANIA LAWYER, 31 (May/June 2014).

Book Review, "The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies: by Jonathan Alter," Washington Post (June 28, 2013).

Article, "The Saturday Night Massacre 40 Years Later: How our Constitution Trumped a Reckless President," Constitutional Daily, National Constitution Center (November 15, 2013).

Op-ed, "Wisdom from Watergate," POLITICO (October, 2013).

"Bush 41's later in life, in letters," review of "All the Best, George Bush: My Life in Letters and Other Writings," WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD, June 2, 2013.

"The New Pledge that Congress Should Take," POLITICO, Oct. 26, 2012.

"America's Unwritten Constitution: The Presidents and Principles We Live By, By Akhil Amar," WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD, Oct.6, 2012.

"A Response to ‘Dr. No:' The importance of saying ‘yes' to legal education in American," PENNSYLVANIA LAWYER Jan./Feb. 2012 at 22.

"Duquesne Law School 1911-2011," SPIRITAN HORIZONS, Issue 6, Fall 2011, pp.63-75.

"Secret Wiretaps: The Need for Legislative Reforms," JURIST (Legal News & Research) (March 20, 2006).

"Can the Independent Counsel Law Be Saved?" 21 Legal Times 28 (February 22, 1999).

"Should We Ditch the Independent Prosecutor Law?" (Dialogue with Professor Akhil Reed Amar), Slate Magazine, (February 16-19, 1999).

"Should Congress Reauthorize the Independent Counsel Law?" 78 Congressional Digest 144 (May, 1999).

"Reapportioning Election Districts: An Exercise in Self-Preservation," USA Today Magazine 22 (January, 1997).

Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Civil Rights Movement," 78 A.B.A. J. 62 (June, 1992).

"Professionalism, Pittsburgh Style," 140 Pitt L.J. 39 (1992).

"The New Story of State Constitutions," Vol. 9, The Pennsylvania Lawyer (March, 1987), reprinted in the Idaho B.J. (August, 1987).

Newspaper Publications

"The Nixon Pardon at 40: Ford Looks Better Than Ever," The Wall Street Journal, Ken Gormley (with David Shribman), September 5, 2014.

"The Lesson of Watergate & Nixon's resignation," the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 2, 2014.

"Rename Pittsburgh's U.S. courthouse for Judge Joseph F. Weis, Jr.: Our grand federal court building should be named for one of its greatest jurists," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 15, 2014.

"American Original: The Life and Constitution of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sunday, January 10, 2010; also published in Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, January 10, 2010.

Other Publications

Various Feature Articles, Book Reviews and Op-Ed Pieces, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Newsday, Chicago Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Atlanta Constitution, Buffalo News, Albuquerque Journal, The Pittsburgh Press, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Magazine.

Past Contributor, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Boston Real Paper, Rolling Stone Record Guide.