It certainly seems sometimes that all roads lead to York. But it works both ways – we also are proud to have many Yorkers, current and former, who’ve made their mark in the larger picture. This is a look at just some of the people who’ve helped to “put York on the map.” I’m hosting this list here on Only in York County, but staffers from around the newsroom will be contributing and improving it, so keep checking back!

Ray Krone Krone spent 10 years in Arizona prison custody – two on death row –after being convicted twice in the 1991 murder of a Phoenix bartender. The former Dover Township man was released after DNA tests showed he did not commit the crime, and he became the 100th person to be exonerated from death row. Krone had maintained his innocence throughout his stay in prison. Krone returned to York County, and in 2005, he received an “Extreme Makeover.” He has been a spokesman for death penalty reform. read more
George Leader Serving as the 36th governor of Pennsylvania from 1955 to 1959, Leader was the only York countian ever elected to the post. Born in 1918, he graduated from York High School, then attended Gettysburg College before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania. He successfully ran for Pennsylvania Senate in 1950, winning the 28th District seat. Sworn in as Democratic governor one day after turning 37, he was the second youngest person ever to be elected to the post. Leader and his family established Country Meadows and Providence Place Retirement Communities in the 1980s and 90s. He passed away May 9, 2013. read more
Bill Goodling Goodling grew up in York and graduated from William Penn High School in 1945. He taught and coached in York County’s South Eastern School District, eventually becoming principal of West York Area High School. In 1967, he became superintendent of the Spring Grove Area School District. Goodling was elected to Congress as a Republican in 1974, representing the 19th District, serving 13 straight terms until 2000, the longest tenure of any 19th District representative in the 20th century. He was elected chairman of the House Committee on Education and Workforce in 1994. read more
Robert C. Maynard Maynard, a former York Gazette and Daily reporter, was the first African American editor and owner of a major daily newspaper in the United States, The Oakland Tribune. He led efforts to desegregate newsrooms and educate minority students to pursue careers in journalism. read more
Jacob Devers Devers was a World War II veteran and York County’s only four-star general. He was born in 1887 and died in 1979. He was the army’s youngest brigadier general in 1940. He became the commander of European operations during World War II and played a key role in the liberation of France. His men freed the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau and helped capture Hitler’s famed “Eagle’s Nest” Alpine retreat. They also rounded up stray Gestapo leaders. Devers, who has a school named after him in York, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. His former home stands along Roosevelt Avenue with a historic marker out front. read more
James Smith Smith was an 18th-century York lawyer whose signature on the Declaration of Independence put him in the record books. He is buried at the First Presbyterian Church on East Market Street in York, where each year ceremonies are held on July 4 to celebrate the man and read the declaration. Smith was born in 1713 in Ireland. His father and several siblings moved to Chester County before arriving in Chanceford Township. Later, Smith would play an active role when York was host to the Continental Congress from 1777 to 1778. He died in 1806 and is featured on one of York’s murals. read more
Samantha Geimer Geimer was the 13-year-old molested by filmmaker Roman Polanski in 1977. He pleaded guilty to the crime and then fled the country to avoid prison. Originally from York, Geimer is the daughter of prominent York attorney Jack Gailey, who has since died, and actress Susan Gailey. Geimer spent the first part of her life on West Philadelphia Street in York, and she attended Lincoln Elementary School and Edgar Fahs Smith Middle School before moving to California, where the crime occurred. Geimer now lives in Hawaii and is the mother of three. read more
Alexander D. Goode Goode was one of the famous Four Chaplains who gave up their life vests and spots in lifeboats to soldiers as their ship, the USS Dorchester, sank after being hit by a German torpedo. read more
Sean Summers The Dover native and partner with the Lancaster/York firm Barley Snyder, represented Albert Snyder as the lead attorney during the Snyder-Westboro case in 2010-11. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment protects Westboro Baptist Church members’ hateful speech during funeral protests. Summers also ran as a Republican congressional candidate for the 4th District in the April 2012 primary, vying to fill Rep. Todd Platts’ seat. He didn’t get elected to the November ballot. read more
Todd Platts Hailing from York, the congressman  graduated from York Suburban Senior High School in 1980.  The Republican was first elected to office in 1992 to represent the 196th legislative district in the Pa. House. He was re-elected three times, serving until his 2000 election to the U.S. House of Representatives. He has represented the 19th District since, and announced his retirement in January 2012. read more
J.W. Gitt The York Daily Record/Gazette and Daily publisher from 1915 to 1970, he gained  international spotlight in 1948, when his newspaper endorsed Progressive Party candidate Henry Wallace for U.S. president, the only commercial daily in the U.S. to do so. In 1944, Democrat Gitt was defeated by GOP Congressman Chester Gross in a run for Gross’  congressional seat. After nearly 150 years of continuous publication, Gitt sold the paper’s assets in 1970 when the paper shut down because of labor problems. read more
Michele DeMeo Michele DeMeo of York was given eight months to live in 2010, but she’s still alive in 2013 and educating others. During her career in the medical field, DeMeo’s professional record includes positions on the Devices Good Manufacturing Practices Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration. New York director Joe Nardelli learned from his friend, a doctor in York County, of DeMeo’s story. He then produced a documentary called “Love, Loss & Life — The Beauty of a Slow Death,” focusing on the beginning and preparation for the end of DeMeo’s life. read more
Chris Doleman Doleman was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012 after his career as one of the NFL’s best pass-rushers. He was a multi-sport athlete at William Penn and spent a year at Valley Forge Military Academy before enrolling at the University of Pittsburgh, where he worked himself up to be the No. 4 overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft. He recorded 150½ sacks during his 15-year NFL career while playing for the Vikings (1985-1993, 1999) Falcons (1994-95) and 49ers (1996-98). read more
Loretta Claiborne York native Claiborne is known as the most accomplished Special Olympian in the world. She was born partially blind and didn’t walk until she was 4. ESPN presented her with the ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage in 1996. A Disney television movie was made about her life. Claiborne has run in 25 marathons and has twice placed among the top 100 women in the Boston Marathon. read more
Earl Shaffer Shaffer was the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one journey, when he went from Georgia to Maine in 1948. He also hiked the trail, north to south, in 1965 and gained national publicity in 1998 when he hiked it all one more time as he closed in on his 80th birthday. Shaffer grew up in Shiloh and graduated from William Penn. He died in 2002. read more
Ken Raffensberger This left-handed pitcher played 15 major-league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds between 1939 and 1954. Raffensberger, who died in 2002, twice led the National League in shutouts, pitched four one-hitters and was the winning pitcher in the 1944 All-Star Game. read more
Chantel Tremitiere Tremitiere became the first woman from York or Adams counties to reach the WNBA when she was drafted by the Sacramento Monarchs in 1997. She played four seasons in the WNBA. As a senior at William Penn, Tremitiere averaged 13 assists a game and 17 points per game. She earned a scholarship to Auburn, and she played for three NCAA championships during her career. read more
Live The rock band Live has very deep roots in the York Community. Original bandmates Chad Taylor, Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey and Ed Kowalczyk graduated from William Penn Senior High School. Dahlheimer, Gracey and Taylor have started a business group, Think Loud Development. read more
Ken Ludwig York Suburban Senior High School graduate Ludwig has written Tony Award-winning plays, including “Moon over Buffalo” and “Crazy For You.” read more
Jeff Koons Koons can make people smile, and sometimes cringe, with his art. Either way, they react to the Dover Area High School graduate’s work. Some of his pieces have sold for millions in auctions. Koons spends most of his time in New York City, but still spends time in York County. read more
Maxine Swann Raised on a farm in Stewartstown, Swann debuted her first story in a 1997 issue of the literary magazine Ploughshares, winning a number of awards. She has since written three novels and freelanced for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Swann lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. read more
Louis Appell Jr. Appell is one of the most influential businessman of York County. His charitable contributions are too numerous to list and his business influence legendary. Appell was formerly CEO of Pfaltzgraff Co. and its affiliates before selling off the empire that has existed in York since the 1800s. Appell and his father long supported the arts in York County. read more
Tom Wolf Wolf, a visionary, philanthropist and public servant, led The Wolf Organization, a company his family started in 1843. He took a turn in public service as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue in 2006, and in 2014, he won the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania governor, facing incumbent Tom Corbett in the general election. He is also involved in the Wolf Foundation, one of the largest charitable foundations based in York County. The business side of the Wolf Organization consists of The Lumber Yard, Wolf Distributing Company and Baublitz Advertising. read more
Robert Kinsley The construction vehicles can be seen almost anywhere in York County. Almost 50 years ago, Kinsley Construction was founded by Robert A. Kinsley. Still a family-owned business, the company has evolved into one of the largest full-service construction management firms in the mid-Atlantic region. Kinsley was also the driving force behind the new visitor center at Gettysburg. read more
Art Glatfelter Arthur Glatfelter Jr. was a philanthropist, a benefactor to countless endeavors in York County and savvy businessman. He founded Glatfelter Insurance in 1951, inventing his own market, insuring volunteer fire companies and firefighters, an innovation at the time and a model that has been copied throughout the industry. He built that agency into a company that employs more than 525 people. Glatfelter died Feb. 14, 2013. He was 88. read more
Evan Sharp This York Suburban graduate helped to found social bookmarking site Pinterest. read more
  • The York celebrities archive of posts on Jim McClure’s York Town Square blog features notable Yorkers of all sorts. (read more)
  • The Names of York archive of posts on this blog looks at some of the people that York County places – parks, schools and more – are named for. (read more)
  • Our York County Success Stories Pinterest board shares stories about Yorkers in the news elsewhere. (read more)