The College of Law community was deeply saddened to learn of the recent passing of Harry Krause, Max L. Rowe Professor Emeritus. Krause, a prolific scholar in the area of family law, was born in Germany in 1932 and grew up in war-torn Berlin. He earned his bachelor's and law degrees at the University of Michigan, where he graduated with honors. After brief stints at the law firm of Covington & Burling and then Ford International, he joined the world of academia and never looked back.
As a tribute to Professor Krause's life and esteemed work, we have compiled the following memories and anecdotes from his colleagues and former students. Several of the reflections are pulled from the University of Illinois Law Review issue that was dedicated in his honor (Vol. 1997; Number 3, Spring 1997).
Janice Farrell Pea, Visiting Professor
(originally written as a contribution to the Illinois Law Review, Vol. 1997; Number 3, Spring 1997, for which Pea was then Editor-in-Chief)
"If I have one impression of Professor Krause that will stay with me long after I leave law school it is of his love of words and his gift of using language so beautifully and effectively. ... As a lover of words myself, I recall a conversation with Professor Krause about my correspondence with the writers who contributed the tributes for this issue. I referred to him, in jest, as the 'tributee.' He rose from his chair, lifted a well-worn copy of the Oxford English Dictionary from the shelf above the desk, and informed me that there is indeed such a word.
Professor Krause has increased my vocabulary, challenged my assumptions about gender and family, influenced my choice of career path, and extended me the courtesy of treating me as a colleague even as I prepare for my final set of exams. I take this opportunity to extend my personal thanks to him with the knowledge that I speak for the many who have been similarly touched by his teaching since his arrival at Illinois in 1963."
Charles Tabb, Mildred Van Voorhis Jones Chair in Law
"I have many fond memories of Harry. I remember as a young member of the faculty I’d often get in what I thought was 'early' (for example, 7:15 am) and stop by the faculty lounge to get some much-needed coffee, and Harry often would be there with Wayne and a couple others. I’d make some comment that they were there early, too, to which Harry pointed out this was their mid-morning break! Harry had a great dry wit … he was a great raconteur."
Wayne LaFave, David C. Baum Professor of Law Emeritus
"I know that there is (and long has been) a product on the market called Coffee-Mate, but for me over a good number of years my regular coffee-mate was Harry Krause. Our joint partaking of the brew commenced soon after his arrival at Illinois in 1963 (two years following my appearance here), and continued on until his relocation away from Champaign-Urbana in more recent years.
This activity usually occurred within whatever area was designated as the 'faculty lounge,' which ranged from a space more like a closet to the impressive facility we now have. In the earlier years, the two of us were part of a crowd, for then (unlike now) it was common for somewhere between five and eight faculty members to be in the building and ready for a break by 7 a.m.! When we both reached the age of statutory senility, more often than not it would be just the two of us, and not necessarily so early.
Coffee with Harry was always a delight, as he was full of opinions about the news of the day, some of which I even agreed with! Harry always had the upper hand in those discussions, however, as he (unlike me) always consumed the New York Times at breakfast, so he was 'armed and loaded' by the time we got together. I fondly recall those discussions about politics, world affairs, and the like. Yet what I found most interesting of all was Harry’s occasional reminiscences concerning what it had been like growing up in Berlin during World War Two, an intense experience that understandably remained very much a part of him."
John E. Cribbet, Corman Professor of Law Emeritus
(originally written as a contribution to the Illinois Law Review, Vol. 1997; Number 3, Spring 1997)
"True scholarship, in any field, is a lonely business. It requires intellectual discipline and a willingness to resist the lure of immediate satisfactions in an effort to cast some light on the more deep-seated problems of a given area of the law. It involves a serious attempt to see the 'Big Picture' and to share one’s own perspective with other scholars in the field. It is one reason why scholars strive for the 'immortality of a footnote' because even small references indicate that the result of one’s research is not simply an offer lanced into the void. In this sense, Professor Krause is one of the immortals who has seen the broad pattern of a significant area of the law and succeeded in passing on that vision to others who have chosen to labor in the same vineyard.
Although Harry is a true scholar – one of the best it has been my privilege to know – he has never been a scholar purely for scholarship’s sake. His myriad books, articles, and reports carry a common theme of involvement between the academy and the profession. As a member of the American Law Institute, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, the American Bar Association’s various committees on Family Law, etc., Harry has put his ideas and scholarship into direct use in seeking a more rational system of family law in all of its many manifestations."
Thomas M. Mengler, President, St. Mary’s University
(originally written as a contribution to the Illinois Law Review, Vol. 1997; Number 3, Spring 1997; Mengler was then the dean at the University of Illinois College of Law)
"Harry Krause’s thirty-year engagement to family law has benefited thousands of students who either have taken Harry’s classes, learned from his casebooks, hornbooks, and treatises, or, in many cases, done both. … Through his eighteen books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and essays, Harry Krause’s writing covers virtually every significant family law issue.
… No ivory-tower scholar here, Harry Krause’s long love affair with family law, although undertaken in the remote regions of Urbana-Champaign, has touched every city and town in America, and most parts of the world, too. It is a career of teaching, scholarship, and service that few of us can match, and all of us should admire."
Robin Fretwell Wilson, Roger and Stephany Joslin Professor of Law, Director of Program in Family Law and Policy
"Harry Krause was a giant in the field of family law and will be sorely missed. Professor Krause's work as a reporter for the Uniform Parentage Act and the Uniform Putative Fathers Act left a distinct imprint on the law, especially when it comes to non-marital fathers and non-marital families. I can think of no single academic who did more to bring respect and meaningful inclusion of non-marital children into the full panoply of legal rights for children, so that non-marital children cannot be denied rights extended to marital children.
Perhaps as profound and lasting an impact, Harry Krause served as a wonderful mentor to new faculty in the field, both in the United States and far beyond. It is no surprise that the Harry Krause Emerging Scholars Workshop established by the Family Law & Policy Program has become the forum for newer faculty to hone their scholarship and own voices as scholars. Harry’s legacy is experiencing a renaissance as newer scholars rediscover Harry’s work and all the insights it offers for the challenges facing families today."