Edelman Chicago's Dominic DiFrisco dies at 85

DiFrisco was also a leader in Chicago's Italian-American community.

CHICAGO: Edelman executive and community leader Dominic DiFrisco died on Sunday from complications from his battle with lymphoma. He was 85.

DiFrisco began his PR career in New York, working for airline Alitalia after graduating from Fordham University in 1955, according to the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago ABC affiliate WLS-TV.

In 1962, the airline sent DiFrisco to Chicago to help with publicity for its inaugural flight between the city and Rome. Though it was a temporary assignment, DiFrisco ended up staying in the city for the rest of his career.

DiFrisco joined Edelman in 2002 and worked as a senior consultant in the government, community and social sectors until his death on Sunday. His clients included the Illinois Department of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, the Illinois Secretary of State, Hilton, the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Employment and Training and MGM.

Edelman’s global practice chair of crisis and reputation risk, Harlan Loeb, described DiFrisco as "one of a kind."

"We met on the set of the Milt Rosenberg show on WGN radio in 1998 and our familial friendship began instantly," Loeb said. "I will cherish his memory forever."   

Both Richard and Renee Edelman honored their former colleague on social media.

After moving to Chicago, DiFrisco also became a leader and vocal defender of the Italian-American community in the city and across the U.S. He worked to fight negative stereotypes about Italian-Americans and defended historical Italian figures such as Air Force Marshal Italo Balbo and Christopher Columbus.

DiFrisco is survived by his wife, daughter, son-in-law and two sisters, according to the Sun-Times.

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