Carmen Tortora, Sr. (1918 - 2004): Founder and Committed Advocate

Carmen Tortora, Sr.

Carmen Tortora, Sr., the founder of The Carolton Chronic & Convalescent Hospital, had a long and distinguished career, combining a commitment to geriatric healthcare with a dedication and sense of responsibility to his community and a love for his extensive family.

Dedication to hard work from the start

Tortora was born in Bridgeport in 1918, the youngest of five and an entrepreneur from an early age. Whether selling flowers, shining shoes or taking prom pictures, his work ethic was unquestionable before he even graduated from high school and was a precursor to later accomplishments.

He graduated from the Junior College of Connecticut and attended both Tufts University and Fordham Law School before serving in the U. S. Army. He was honorably discharged in 1945.

Along with starting two employment agencies and establishing three Fairfield County business schools, Tortora founded The Carolton in 1954. What began as a 28-bed skilled nursing facility has grown to a 154-bed, in- and outpatient chronic care and rehabilitation hospital, treating thousands of patients each year.

A local focus with state and national impact

Tortora took his successes with The Carolton beyond its walls to set standards and establish networks throughout the state. He was a founding member of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, developing by-laws that have served as a model for similar organizations throughout the United States. He was a member of the National Geriatric Society as well as the American Health Care Association and was named a Fellow in the American College of Nursing Home Administrators.

And if running The Carolton, serving professional organizations, working with local charities and supporting local politics wasn't quite enough, he and his wife Agnes raised 14 children. Two of the children, Kathryn and Thomas, continue his legacy of caring - from community involvement to setting industry standards to ensuring every patient at The Carolton is receiving the highest quality care from well-trained professionals in a clean, home-like environment. A deeply spiritual man, Carmen Tortora understood dignity, compassion, and the importance of his family and dedicated his life to caring for others. His family and the staff of The Carolton are proud to continue his legacy.


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