Called ‘Dean of public relations consultants’
By CJA President Allen Rafalson
Our Chicago Journalists Association lost an outstanding member of its board of directors this past weekend. He was a journalist and a legendary public relations consultant. He was also a patriot and my dear friend.
Herbert M. (Herb) Kraus, 95, passed away in his sleep.
Herb earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Illinois and after graduation served as an infantry combat correspondent in the South Pacific. He was severely wounded while riding in the back seat of jeep .He never found out whether the bullet that went through his elbow and chest –just missing his heart- was fired by either a sniper or from friendly fire.
He spent months in a hospital recovering from the wound that left his right arm permanently paralyzed. He is recipient of the Purple Heart.
But that didn’t stop him from eventually earning the reputation as the “dean of Chicago’s public relations”.
His first PR clients were the National Jewish Hospital at Denver and State of Israel Bonds, later opening his own agency in 1954. He represented a wide variety of clients during five decades, including those in the corporate, educational and the entertainment fields.
He worked tirelessly for nonprofits and handled fundraising and public relations for the All-Chicago Committee for President Harry S. Truman Library; 50th anniversary of Archbishop Bernard Sheil’s orientation; the John Cardinal Cody Chair for the American Friends of Hebrew University; Spertus College.
His honors were many. He was president of the Publicity Club of Chicago and received its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. The American Jewish Committee presented him with the prestigious Richard Alschuler Award. He had additional memberships, including the Chicago Headline Club
Herb credited his success to his writing ability and close working relationship with the media and was eager to pass on his knowledge and experience to the students he taught at Columbia College.
Survivors include daughters Gale (Kraus) Marks and Claudia Kraus.
Visitation begins at 10 a.m on Thursday May 25 at Emanuel Congregation, 5959 N. Sheridan Road, followed by services an hour later. Internment is at Elmwood Cemetery, 1413 169th Street, Hammond, Ind. The family will welcome visitors from 5-9 p.m. at 415 W. Aldine, Apt. 7A.
May he rest in peace.