Former Illyria Editor, Charles Caruso, Dies

By Joe Finora

Former Illyria editor Charles Caruso died Aug. 7 in New York City. He was 86. Caruso had been hospitalized for several months fighting an undisclosed illness.

Charles Caruso.

Caruso was born and raised in Queens, New York City and graduated from Queens College having majored in English literature. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps., where he was stationed in Japan and attained the rank of lieutenant he returned to New York to pursue a career in journalism.

Caruso was a writer and/or editor at the New York Post, Newsweek and The National Inquirer before joining Illyria in 1991 as its English-language section editor.

Caruso crafted Illyria’s editorial voice, helping its circulation and influence grow in North America and Western Europe. With Caruso as editor Illyria became the leading English-language news service for the region, impacting Western opinion on Kosovo, Albania and events across the Balkans.

“He was a great editor, colleague, and friend,” said Vehbi Bajrami, current publisher of Illyria and former Managing Editor who worked for years with Charles Caruso. “The entire staff of Illyria learned so much from him.”Caruso is also the author of: “It’s Easy When You Have No Choice,” a book of comic and insightful one-line wisdom. He is the father of actor David Caruso; Joyce Caruso, a television producer; and Carla Caruso, a jewelry designer.


Former Illyria editor Charles Caruso (right) with reporter Joseph Finora in 1995.


From the left, Ruben Avxhiu (editor), Charles Caruso, Vehbi Bajrami (publisher of Illyria), and Dalip Greca (editor), during a visit to the offices of Illyria newspaper, in 2007.