Philip F. Corso, MD
Philip F. Corso, MD, 94, of Fairfield, CT, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home on June 23, 2022. He was a loving husband of 50 years to Betty Mae (Lanute), father, grand -recent father and friend of many. Phil was born at home on August 14, 1927 in Bridgeport, CT to Sicilian immigrants, Frank and Rose (LaMastra) Corso. He was a respected member of the community and touched many lives as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, having served as the former chief of plastic surgery at Bridgeport, St. Vincent’s and Norwalk hospitals.
Phil has had an impressive academic and professional career that began at Shelton Grammar School and Central High School in Bridgeport, CT. He graduated in 1945 and received the four-year Frank Miller University Fellowship at Yale. At Yale, he was a member of the boxing team and played intramural baseball. In 1948, he graduated cum laude from Yale after three years, as one of the youngest members of his class at age 20. He was then accepted to Tufts University Medical School in Boston. At Tufts, he was chosen to be the editor of the Student Medical School Journal. In his senior year, Phil was asked to be the inaugural editor of the prestigious Journal of the Student American Medical Association. After graduating in 1952, he interned at the Cornell Surgical Service at Bellevue Hospital in New York and the Bronx Veterans Hospital. He became chief resident on both services.
Phil entered the Navy in 1954 and was a lieutenant in the medical corps, serving in the First Marine Division in Korea and then in the Third Marine Division in Japan. Upon his return from Japan, he was assigned to St. Albans U.S. Naval Hospital on Long Island, New York, where he served as chief of plastic surgery until his discharge in 1957.
He continued his plastic surgery training at New York Cornell Hospital and Bronx Veterans Hospital. While at New York Hospital, he completed a research project that was later published and submitted to the international competition of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He won the second prize, which allowed Dr. Corso to travel for three months to exceptional plastic surgery centers in Europe, where he was able to observe and learn from some of the best doctors in the field.
In 1959 he accepted a two-year position as a Senior American Cancer Society Fellow at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York. In the end, he was asked to become an attending surgeon in the head and neck department of Memorial Hospital under the direction of the world renowned Dr. Hayes Martin. He remained in service until 1964, after which he returned to Bridgeport, CT to open a practice specializing in plastic and head and neck surgery. He was board certified in general surgery and plastic surgery. He took great pride in being able to help cancer patients, burn and accident victims, children born with cleft lip and palate and many others.
Phil was an active member of the professional community and was committed to educating the next generation. He has been an active participant in residency training programs at Bridgeport, St. Vincent’s and Norwalk hospitals. He also became a clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at Yale Medical School. He has published over 50 scientific articles and contributed four chapters to surgical textbooks on plastic surgery and head and neck surgery. Phil was a past president of the New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Connecticut Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. For many years he served on the board of directors of the Aesthetic Society of America.
Throughout his life Phil has had a passion for hunting, travelling, reading and joking around. He was fluent in Italian and was proud of his Italian-American heritage. He was considered an expert on Napoleon Bonaparte, having appeared on the History Channel and co-authored a book on Napoleon’s death. Anyone who has spent time in the formal living room of the old Corso house will remember that it was like a Napoleonic museum. He was a member of Brooklawn Country Club for 49 years where he was an avid tennis player, along with his family. Phil’s greatest joy in life was spending time and being around his loving family and German Shorthaired Pointer. He was a true gentleman, a great storyteller and he will be greatly missed.
Phil is survived by his beloved wife, Betty Mae (Lanute); his children Philip F. Corso, Jr. (Vickie) of Columbus, OH, Christina (Philip Furmato) and his step-grandchildren, Frank and Jonathan of Blue Bell, PA, Christopher (Angela), and his grandson Luca Philip from Phoenix, AZ. He was predeceased by his brother, Joe and his wife Lily (Sevart).
The family would like to thank VITAS Healthcare and Visiting Angels, as well as their caregiver, Cynthia Percel, for her compassion and excellent care for “Dr. Phil” over the past few years.
Friends are invited to greet his family on Thursday, June 30, 2022 from 4-7 p.m. at Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, 50 Reef Road in Fairfield. A Christian burial mass will be held Friday, July 1, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road in Fairfield. Burial with military honors will follow at Oak Lawn Cemetery.
Instead of flowers, Phil wants you to spend time with your family and make memories. To send a condolence online, please visit www.shaughnessseybanks.com.
Published by Connecticut Post on June 25, 2022.