In Memoriam: Michael Krauss

ClassroomMichael E. Krauss (August  15, 1934 –  August 11, 2019)  was an  American  linguist, professor emeritus, founder, and long-time head of the Alaska Native Language Center. The Alaska Native Language Archive is named after him.

 A public memorial honoring Dr. Krauss' professional life and career was held in the Davis Concert Hall at the University of Alaska Fairbanks on September 22,  with a potluck immediately afterward in the Great Hall. A memorial service for friends and family was held at the University Community Presbyterian Church on September 23.

Memorial contributions to the Alaska Native Language Archive, University of Alaska Fairbanks, were suggested. Contributions may be made via check or online at and reference "In memory of Dr. Michael Krauss." In the event of questions, please contact UAF Development at +1-907-474-2619.

Krauss is known  foremost as a specialist in Athabascan and the Eyak language, which became extinct in January 2008. However, he worked on all of the 20 Native languages of Alaska, 18 of which belong to the Na-Dene and Eskimo–Aleut language families.

Throughout his career, and most notably with his 1991 address to the Linguistic Society of America, Krauss focused awareness of the global problem of endangered languages. He worked to encourage the documentation and revitalization of endangered languages across the world.

Krauss joined the faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1960 and served as director of the Alaska Native Language Center from its inception in 1972 until his retirement in June 2000.  (Wikipedia)

Obituary in the Daily News-Miner (Fairbanks, Alaska):

Michael Edward Krauss, a 56-year resident of Fairbanks, and professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks since 1960, died at his current home in Needham, Massachusetts, on Aug. 11. He was 84 years old. He was an internationally renowned scholar in linguistics and endangered languages who devoted his career to documenting the 20 languages of Alaska's native people. He is survived by his wife, Molly Lee; brother, Richard Krauss; six children; 15 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. 

Michael Krauss, a linguist noted for his work with endangered languages, dies at 84, Daily News-Miner, August 15, 2019

Celebrated linguist of Alaska Native Languages Michael Krauss dies, KTUU Anchorage, August 14, 2019


Contributions to the Michael E. Krauss Alaska Native Language Archive

Publications available through the Alaska Native Language Center


Saving Eyak The New Yorker, August 13, 2010 

Eskimo Symbols Taught in Alaska, The New York TimesJanuary 31, 1971

Michael Krauss: Linguist & Director, Alaska Native Language Center, Best Cultural Destinations blog, October 12, 2018

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