Remembering Chuck Lauer

Scott Becker and Molly Gamble - Print  | 

Chuck Lauer, 86, was a legend in the healthcare arena. He passed away Sunday after a battle with leukemia. It is an understatement to say he will be greatly missed.

For 29 years, Chuck served as the publisher of Modern Healthcare and grew that magazine into greatness. He oversaw the publication's editorial direction and served as vice president of publishing before he attempted to retire from Crain Communications in 2007. Retirement didn't work out well, and Chuck soon rebounded to his business interests and community work. 
 
As beloved as he was in healthcare, Chuck was first and foremost a devoted family man. He tirelessly gave his time and prodigious energy to everyone and everything, but most of all his family — his beloved wife, Maggie, his children and his grandchildren. He always spoke of them with such love and pride.
 
Chuck mentored so many people throughout his life. He was a longtime unpaid mentor to Becker's Healthcare, and to many of us personally, until we literally forced him to take a paycheck. He was always looking to help more. His advice transcended generations and boundaries, from editorial to sales to healthcare and leadership of all sorts. "As I watched Chuck work and relate to people into his 80s, I often thought, 'My God, I want to be Chuck Lauer when I grow up," says Publisher Scott Becker.
 
Throughout his career, Chuck wrote several books and hundreds, if not thousands, of articles. His moral fiber and decency was apparent in his writing, and he never failed to advocate for patients. Chuck also served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, and he devoted a great deal of his writing to lessons he learned and people he met throughout his service.
 
"Chuck, as publisher of Modern Healthcare and then a special writer for Becker's Hospital Review, understood healthcare as few really do — the complexity, importance, the passion and the emotion," says Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. "His editorials were challenging and yet supportive as only those on the inside of healthcare would understand. His writings demanded good leadership and management in healthcare, and he prided himself in recognizing the good in healthcare leadership. I'll never forget the day he presented me with a Becker's Leadership Award. I think he enjoyed presenting it as much as I did receiving it. And I could tell he expected even more of me going forward. I'll miss his writing as much as I will miss him."
 
We can't remember Chuck without recalling his unique spirit and brand of energy. Chuck was a friend to all, and a generous one at that. "An introduction from Chuck Lauer was the golden pass to business relationships," said Mr. Becker. He loved his sports — ice hockey and golf, particularly — and his kids' sports. He enjoyed spending time with his family in the sun of Naples, Fla. He was a natural networker and a sight to be seen when meeting people and introducing friends to one another. He was young at heart and never without his sense of humor.
 
"Having worked with Chuck for nearly a quarter century, I can say that the success he had never went to his head," says Todd Sloane, a former senior editor at Modern Healthcare. "He was one of the warmest people you could meet and would go out of his way to help anyone who asked for it."
 
Like hundreds of others who knew him, we at Becker's Healthcare are so grateful for the friendship we shared with the legendary Chuck Lauer. We are better for having known him, and he will be sorely missed. 
 
To share your memories or thoughts of Chuck for a piece for publication, please email mgamble@beckershealthcare.com.

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