Lanzillotti, G.M. "Guy" 94, a longtime newspaper editor and writer, recently passed away in hospice care in Des Plaines, Illinois. Mr Lanzillotti retired from the Chicago Sun-Times in the late 1980s and had previously worked for the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago American, the Milwaukee Sentinel, and the St. Louis Star-Times. He also wrote commentaries for The Nation magazine and other publications. Mr. Lanzillotti was expert in handling the editorial processing of fast-breaking national events such as the Kennedy assassination in 1963 and local tragedies such as Chicago's Our Lady of the Angels School fire in 1958 that took the lives of 95 persons. For many years he wrote a column on Italian-American life and history for Fra Noi, a Chicago Italian and English bilingual newspaper. He also appeared as a guest commentator on Chicago television shows including Press Internationale, a popular program in the 1960s. Mr. Lanzillotti was born in New York, the son of Italian immigrants, father Giovanni being a noted costume designer on Broadway and at the Metropolitan Opera and mother Assunta an accomplished pianist. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Louisiana State University and a master's degree in mass communication from the University of Chicago. A proud American and World War II veteran, he served admirably as an officer in the U.S. Merchant Marine, mostly on the dangerous North Atlantic convoy routes, and in South Asia and the Middle East. After World War II he worked for two years as a civilian adviser in Occupied Japan for the U.S. Military Government commanded by General Douglas MacArthur. Mr. Lanzillotti is survived by his beloved wife of 72 years, Agatha, whom he met while they were university students and who enjoyed a long career as a teacher, news reporter, and advertising copy writer; son Adrian (Young Hee) Lanzillotti; daughter Diana (Robert) Karis; grandsons Michael Karis, John (Eden) Lanzillotti, and Paul Lanzillotti, grandsons to whom he was devoted and with whom he enjoyed telling stories about such legendary baseball stars as Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Joe DiMaggio, all of whom he had seen play in person; younger brother Gustave; and beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by older brother State Senator Carlo A. Lanzillotti, a World War II Army veteran who later was a member of the New York state legislature.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on July 1, 2012