Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
March 20, 1931 - May 13, 2024

CYRIL H. WECHT, M.D., J.D.: 93, passed away peacefully on May 13, 2024. He leaves behind his loving wife Sigrid, four children David (Valerie), Daniel (Anna), Benjamin (Flynne), and Ingrid (Harold), and eleven grandchildren (Dylan, Sophie, Zoe, Gabriel, Nathan, Jacob, Sarah, Alexander, Macey, Emma, and Jessica). Cyril was born in Pittsburgh on March 20, 1931 to immigrant parents Nathan and Fannie Wecht, and raised in Bobtown, McKees Rocks and the Lower Hill District. A standout student, violinist and athlete at Fifth Avenue High School, he graduated as Class Valedictorian and went on to the University of Pittsburgh, where he distinguished himself as President of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity, Concertmaster of the Pitt Symphony, Business Manager of the Pitt News, and President of the YMCA, among many other honors.  After earning his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School, Cyril was called into his country's service, and proudly served as a Captain in the United States Air Force. It was there that he met his wife Sigrid, herself an immigrant, who also was serving in the United States Air Force. After they both were honorably discharged, they married at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh, and lived briefly in Baltimore, where Cyril obtained his first law degree from the University of Maryland while working in the Medical Examiner's Office, and where their first child, David, was born. After returning to Pittsburgh in 1963, Cyril and Sigrid had three more children, Daniel, Benjamin, and Ingrid, and Cyril obtained his second law degree, this one at Pitt. Cyril embarked on a long and stellar career combining his training in medicine and law, and his then-rare expertise in the nascent field of forensic pathology. Early on, Cyril juggled four jobs -- as a forensic pathologist/deputy at the Coroner's Office, as an Assistant District Attorney/medical-legal adviser to the District Attorney, as a pathologist at the Veterans Administration Hospital - Leech Farm, and as an attorney practicing with his friends David and Roslyn Litman. He went on to win election to several terms as Allegheny County Coroner, where he modernized the office and made it into an international model, attracting trainees from all over the world. He later served as Allegheny County's first Chief Medical Examiner. Cyril also was elected County Commissioner, County Democratic Party Chairman, and President of several professional organizations, including the American College of Legal Medicine, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the American Board of Legal Medicine, and many others. Cyril founded the Pittsburgh Institute of Legal Medicine and the Cyril H. Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law at Duquesne University, where he taught for some sixty years. He was the first civilian permitted to examine the evidence from the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at the National Archives, and the first person to discover that the President's brain, and related material, was missing. He was the nation's foremost critic of the Warren Commission's infamous single bullet theory. He personally conducted tens of thousands of autopsies, consulted and testified in countless criminal and civil cases, spoke around the world to professional, lay, and student groups, held several faculty appointments, authored dozens of books and hundreds of scholarly articles, and collaborated on numerous film and television projects, including the award-winning films JFK and Concussion. He worked avidly and expertly to discover the truth surrounding deaths and injuries suffered by others, and brought comfort and justice for countless grieving and victimized families around the globe. He loved Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and, although he traveled the world, he never would consider living anywhere else (save for his two years of military service and his brief time In Baltimore after discharge). Most of all, Cyril loved his family, and made the happiness, well-being, and education of his wife, his children and his grandchildren his top priority in life. He also was blessed to share the love and affection of many close and lifelong friends and colleagues, most of whom have departed from this realm as well. Services, Interment, and Shiva Private. A public memorial service will be announced in the future. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Cyril's memory can be made to Stand With Us, www.standwithus.com, PO Box 341069, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. www.schugar.com

Condolences

Send Condolence

Heartfelt condolences to the entire family on your loss. Your father was a gem of a person, and our family will always remember his many kindnesses, including a summer hosting Liza as his intern. May his memory be a blessing and may you find comfort in knowing that he left the world a better place. He will be missed.

By Sharon Brusman - May 20, 2024

My sincere condolences, I had the privilege to meet Dr. Wecht many years ago with his lovely family. St. Edmunds Academy days. My Best to all.

By Lela Levine - May 20, 2024

My mother, Cookie, grew up with Cyril in the Hill District and they remained dear friends throughout her life. She recounted Cyril’s wish, as a young boy, was to have a winter overcoat that wasn’t a “hand-me-down”. Such a modest and unassuming request for someone that went on to accomplish so much and to make a lasting impression on all those his life touched.

By Michael Simon - May 18, 2024

I never had an opportunity to meet Dr. Wecht, at least not as an adult. But, this wonderful man did the blood test for myself and my twin brother when our biological father attempted to deny us. He also, told him about himself for denying us! I will never forget what he did for us! So, THANK YOU DR. WECHT FOR CHANGING OUR LIVES AND MAKING THE TRUTH, THE TRUTH! GOD bless your family during this very sorrowful time! We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers!

By Karen Thomas-Walker and Family - May 16, 2024

My deepest condolences to all of you. May his memory be a blessing.

By Jessica Markovitz - May 15, 2024

A brilliant mind, a compassionate man, an amazing storyteller and truth seeker, a quick wit with a personality that illuminated the room. Dr. Wecht was a true friend of my father’s and oh the fun they had in the political arena, as well as in their professional work. He will be deeply missed by my family and so many near and far. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Wecht family. May your husband’s/father’s memory be a blessing. With deepest, heartfelt sympathy - Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis and the Naccarati Family

By Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis - May 15, 2024

Dr Wecht was my hero since nursing school, graduated in 1985, and ever since. I followed his role model, and do to this day. I was thrilled to rediscover him yet again in “Concussion,” yet again be awed by the courage and willingness to give his life again. I’m sorry for the grieving his family will endure, and he was a truly righteous man.

By Rochelle Snyder - May 14, 2024

Please accept my very deepest sympathy to the whole family of Dr wecht. He was a very special man sincerely, Sara Gordon.

By Sara Gordon - May 14, 2024

To the Wecht family: Cyril was a friend and occasional political sparring partner. He was always interested in better public policy and we shared that interest. I will always remember his courage and willingness to speak out on issues of the day. He testified for constructive changes before the legislature and Congress more time than I could count— always with his signature style and wit- and most importantly with the credibility of his experience. His presence was a great example of service. May God keep you in his care as you grieve

By Melissa Hart - May 14, 2024

our Deepest Sympathy

By Stanton and Betty Elias - May 14, 2024

A mountain of a man and an avalanche of a loss.

By Beth Tarasi & the Tarasi family - May 14, 2024

Dr. Wecht was an extraordinary man of gargantuan intellect, drive, energy, and talent: a self-made success in multiple fields of endeavor. He made his mark on our region and the world. He shall never be forgotten. My sincere sympathy to his illustrious and loving family.

By Oren Spiegler - May 14, 2024

I want to express my heartfelt sympathy to the family of Dr. Cyril Wecht. We were honored to have him as a guest speaker at a meeting of Three Rivers Lodge B'nai B'rith to present his speech about the "Single Bullet Theory" of the John F. Kennedy assassination. I also heard him speak at Levy Hall of the Rodef Shalom Temple. It was my pleasure to speak to him on other occasions.

By Richard Gordon - May 14, 2024

My Deepest Sympathy to the Wecht Family, in their loss of a Great Man,.. Dr. Cyril Wecht, M.D. In my personal opinion, Dr. Wecht was one of the Best Coroner\'s in the World. As a Retired Police Officer, I found him to be one of a few Coroner\'s that had a 100% clearance in the Coroner\'s office. He also had a heart of gold. Example: years ago, I had mentioned to him that my sister ( a well qualified physicians secretary) wanted to work for Dr. Wecht, when an appropriate opening with the County would occur. As busy as he \"always\" was, he never forgot my sister\'s request. She loved working for him and Flo. My family Doctor ( years ago) was a good friend of Dr. Wecht.... he was the late, Dr. M.T. Martin, of St. Francis Hospital. My prayers to the Family of Dr. Wecht, that God the Father, gives them the strength to get through this trying time. Rest In Peace Dr. Wecht, you have earned your reward in Heaven!!! With my Sincere Condolences, Elmer Falcione

By Elmer F Falcione - May 14, 2024