Kraus, Ezra Jacob 1885-1959

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Dr. E. J. Kraus was an outstanding botanist and horticulturist.

Dr. Kraus was born in Michigan, obtained his B.S. degree at Michigan State College in 1907, and his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1917. He was Professor of Horticultural Research at Oregon State College in 1918-1919 and Professor of Applied Botany at the University of Chicago in 1919 where he became Distinguished Professor in 1943. He retired from the Chairmanship of the Department in 1947. He was Principal Plant Physiologist of the U.S.D.A. for a number of years beginning in 1938. He was president of the American Society of Plant Physiologists. His research has been in the field of plant reproduction and metabolism, effect of growth regulators, and nutrition of plants of economic importance.

His Vegetation and Reproduction with Special Reference to the Tomato published in January, 1918, as Bulletin 149 of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station is a classic and was of outstanding importance in stimulating chemical work for the following decades. This work may well be considered the first important chemical study in the field of horticulture. Dr. Kraus greatly inspired his students and fellow workers in botany and horticulture. He initiated much work through his counsel with investigators. Several years ago he was voted one of the three greatest living horticulturists.

Dr. Kraus resided in Corvallis, Oregon, until his death in 1959. He spent his last years in breeding chrysanthemums, day lilies (Hemerocallis), Clematis, and Azaleas. Many of his hardy chrysanthemum varieties have been introduced to the trade and are being grown commercially. He produced also many outstanding cultivars of Hemerocallis.