A prominent Chicago photographer known for covering fashion shows, charity and society events and capturing celebrities on the red carpet died today after collapsing in front of a downtown hotel, officials said.
Steve Starr, 65, was pronounced dead at 4:29 p.m. Monday, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Starr had just had been dropped off at the corner of Michigan Avenue and Oak Street when he collapsed in front of the Drake Hotel, according to friends and the medical examiner’s office. The cause of death is pending an autopsy scheduled for Tuesday.
“He had said to his friend, ‘I don’t feel well’ and he collapsed,” said Sheryl Dyer, a fan of Starr's who runs Van Cleef & Arpels, a store inside the Drake Hotel.
“Someone ran in (my store)and said someone collapsed. I ran out and I said, ‘Oh my God, it’s Steve Starr.’”
Dyer said a Good Samaritan started performing CPR until paramedics arrived and rushed him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Starr, also an art deco expert, was gearing up for an exhibition next month that would have celebrated his studio’s 45th year in business, according to friend Candace Jordan.
He planned on showcasing 400 images he shot of media personalities from around the world. Jordan said his friends still plan on holding the event, which will now be a celebration of his life.
“It was a shock to everyone who knew him,” Jordan said. “God’s going to have his own photographer now.”