2018 Humanitarian – Dr. Sam Cascio
IAET 2018 Humanitarian
Dr. Samuel Cascio
Dr. Samuel J. Cascio, D.D.S., is the son of Joseph and Josephine Cascio. His mother was born in Cefalù, Sicily, and his father was born in Baltimore, Maryland, of Italian ancestry. They were married at Our Lady of Victory Church on the Northwest Side of Chicago.
The family was of modest means — his dad was a barber who worked on the 10th floor of the Clark Adams Building in downtown Chicago — but despite the financial challenges, he always believed in providing his children with a Catholic education.
Dr. Sam attended Our Lady of Victory Grammar School and went on to St. Mel High School at a reduced tuition, thanks to Brother James. He went on to St. Mary’s College (now a university) in Winona, Minnesota. Both St. Mel’s and St. Mary’s were run by the La Salle Christian Brothers.
After one year, he enlisted in the Navy rather than be drafted into the Army. He served three years in the Pacific as a radioman aboard the USS LST 281 during World War II.
After an honorable discharge, he completed his education at St. Mary’s College under the G.I. Bill and received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and biology. He went on to the Loyola University School of Dentistry, where he earned his D.D.S.
Dr. Sam credits the quality of education he received from the La Salle Christian Brothers with laying the foundation for his successful 56-year career as a dentist on the Northwest Side of Chicago.
Dr. Sam was chairman of many fund-raising events. He raised funds for St. Mel High School through its Cadillac give-away dinners, receiving the Mel Man of the Year Award for his efforts in 1966.
He served as chairman of St. Mary’s Chicagoland capital campaign, with a $1.5 million goal, and served on the Board of Trustees for 10 years. A charter member of the President’s Council from 1974 to 1994, he established the Cascio Family Court in honor of the La Salle Christian Brothers and their mission of education at St. Mary’s. He also co-chaired for the $100 million campaign for the Dental Alumni Division of Loyola University.
Dr. Sam is a past president of the Illinois State Dental Society, the Chicago Component of the Illinois Academy of General Dentistry, the Loyola Dental Alumni Association, the Progressive Club of the Chicago Dental Society, and the Northwest Side Branch of the Chicago Dental Society. He has a fellowship in the USA Section of the International College of Dentists.
A past president of the Arcolian Dental Arts Society, an organization of Chicago-area dentists of Italian descent, he was honored as Arcolian Man of the Year in 1981. He is a lifetime member and past president of the Columbian Club of Chicago, a past member of the board of trustees of the Columbian Club Charitable Foundation and past chairman of the Columbian Club Scholarship Committee for 10 years.
A member of the University of Illinois Eye Fund Board for 26 years, he served for 18 years as its vice president. He also served on the U of I President’s Council and Foundation. He established the Samuel J. Cascio, D.D.S., scholarship for Italian-American students at the University of Illinois Dental School and was awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the university’s Dental Alumni Association.
He received the Marshall H. Smulson, D.D.S., Humanitarian Award from Ed Kelly Sports Inc., the Distinguished Dentist Award from the Illinois State Dental Society and the Founder’s Day Award from the Loyola University Dental Alumni Association, and served as the commencement speaker for the Loyola School of Dentistry at the graduation of his son, Dr. Michael.
Dr. Sam is the proud father of Joseph (retired), Dan (president of Cascio Communication Inc.), Dr. Michael (a dentist in Harwood Heights), and Geraldine (Phillip) Limonciello (owners of Mama Maria’s pizza in Elmhurst).