Chicago Legend David Szabo Passes Away

Chicago Legend David Szabo Passes Away

Chicago creative luminary David Szabo passed away today, bringing an end to a life of creative accomplishment and mentorship.

Born and raised in Middletown, Ohio, Szabo studied classical piano before moving to Chicago and completing a film degree at Columbia College in 1970. He first worked as a freelance editor for companies like Sedelmaier Films, Kartemquin and others before starting his own company, Szabo Editing in 1975, later partnering with Jack Tohtz to form Szabo Tohtz Editing in 1985 and ultimately Skyview before returning largely to freelance editing late in his career.

He also created Szabo Productions as a music provider for commercials, which employed BAM Studio's Brian Reed.

"I don’t think I would have BAM without his support," Reed said. "Over the years of mixing with him, he would tell all his clients about me and because of that, I could start my own company. Like me, there are so many film editors that owe their career to him."

Szabo worked with all the major agencies of his day, notably Foote, Cone and Belding, Leo Burnett, DDB Needham, and J. Walter Thompson, among others. His campaigns included national spots for Coca-Cola, United Airlines, Kellogg's, McDonald's, Wrangler, Budweiser, Kraft and Hallmark. He earned a wide range of accolades, including Clio's and Addy's as well as a Hugo.

"He was my mentor, even though I’m in audio," Reed said. "I did thousands of sessions with him, he mentored so many people in this business, he’s a legend."