Members and staff of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) mourn the passing of Chuck Giorno, our dear friend and event photographer since 1975. Chuck passed away on October 7, the last full day of Clinical Congress 2015, in Chicago, IL, of organic cardiovascular disease. He was 63 years old.
Chuck, an Elmwood Park, IL, native, took thousands of photographs throughout the last 40 years, documenting the College’s Clinical Congresses and many other events, including Committee on Trauma meetings, the annual Jacobson Dinner, and the 2014 Ernest A. Codman, MD, FACS, memorial ceremony.
Always on the move, Chuck was easy to spot, with his ever-changing hair color and ever-present stepladder, darting through crowds while hauling his cart of heavy photography equipment. He was a perfectionist in his work, expending great energy and care on every assignment—straightening jackets, removing badges, moving people just an inch or two, teasing and exhorting, “This is the last one…and now, just ONE more!”—all in the pursuit of excellence. His vibrant personality made everyone smile. Both on and off the job he joked with surgeons and staff, related stories about past ACS meetings and leaders, shared photos of his cats, discussed camera equipment with interested passersby, and befriended hotel staff, shuttle bus drivers, baristas, waiters…everyone.
Chuck studied in the well-known photography program at Columbia College in Chicago, IL. He began his career as a staff photographer for Oscar & Associates, moved to Atwood Convention Publishing, and then ran his own business in Washington, DC, and Atlanta, GA, before returning to Illinois.
He was passionate about art and music; he played in a rock band in the 1970s. Always generous with his time, he volunteered with a local cat rescue and served as a handyman and companion for elderly friends.
It’s difficult to imagine that such a lively character is no longer with us, but we all have many, many memories of Chuck to share and treasure. (See more photos of Chuck.)
Condolences may be sent to the Giorno family c/o Tina Woelke at the ACS, 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611. Donations to his favorite cat rescue, where his cats now reside, would be welcome: Gypsy Cats NFP Inc., 1845 N. Natchez Ave., Chicago, IL 60707, or www.gypsycats.org.
Senior Graphic Designer/Production Manager/
Clinical Congress News Photography Editor