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Remembering Marc Hauser Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

4 January 2019

After suffering health problems that led to a brief hospitalization, Chicago-based celebrity photographer Marc Hauser passed away Dec. 30. He was 66.

His work appeared in every Chicago publication of the last five decades as well as in many national magazines and on album covers and billboards. He also published five books of celebrity images including Of Friends and Acquaintances (1985), Halloween in Bucktown (1987) and Images from Within: Portraits of People Confronting Mental Illness (1999).

Among his subjects were Sophia Loren, Woody Allen, Michael Jordan, Cindy Crawford, John Belushi, Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, Oprah Winfrey, Aaron Copland, Yo-Yo Ma, Michael Jordan, Dennis Rodman, Patti Smith and John Waters. And a bunch of kids in Bucktown dressed up for Halloween.

He won over 100 awards including Clios for advertising and a Grammy.

The announcement on his studio's Facebook pages said:

Marc has left us with a deep void that will be hard to fill. His strong spirit, his laughter and stories will remain with us forever, just like his legacy and impact on the photo community.

In addition to battling diabetes and kidney disease for years, he suffered a disabling work accident in the early 2000s when the crane he was on to shoot photos of a golf course collapsed. He lost the use of one eye and had a leg amputated that required him to use a power wheelchair.

After receiving a Brownie camera at the age of 13, he became smitten with photography. His father was an enthusiast with a darkroom in the basement. So Hauser was quickly able to put his new hobby to work, getting photo assignments from the local newspaper that included covering rock concerts.

By 14, he was apprenticed to a contributing photographer for Playboy magazine and shortly after got his own assignments.

Which beats mowing lawns for most adolescent boys.

Until he was admitted to the hospital last month, he was still photographing. But not celebrities. After his accident and the rise of digital imaging, that work, which had earned him six figures some years, dried up.

Instead he photographed ordinary Chicagoans and their families, finding his customers through deals advertised on Groupon. His last subjects were a local couple expecting their first child.

"I just love taking pictures. That's what's keeping me alive," he explained.

The Wicker Park Gallery will host a show of 70 of Hauser's photographs on Jan. 11 and 12 to celebrate Hauzer's life. A selection of his images can be seen on his Web site and at Bob Korn Imaging.

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