Richard H. Cracroft
Brother Richard H. Cracroft earned his PhD in English and American literature from the University of Wisconsin—Madison (1969). After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Utah, he joined the BYU English Department faculty in 1963. He served two terms as department chair (1975–80) and two terms as dean of the College of Humanities (1981–86). Dr. Cracroft chaired American Studies (1989–94) and, beginning 1994, was director of the Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature and editor of Literature and Belief, a national, nondenominational scholarly journal combining religious faith and literary scholarship, for several years.
A prolific author, he wrote Washington Irving: The Western Works and coedited A Believing People: The Literature of the Latter-day Saints, 22 Young Mormon Writers, and Voices from the Past, a collection of Mormon journals and diaries. Dr. Cracroft co-compiled/edited the Provo Patriotic Reader, and he has published in numerous professional journals on various literary figures and genres.
Dr. Cracroft was a major force in establishing Mormon literature as an area for literary study. He assisted in establishing the Association for Mormon Letters, helped edit Western American Literature and several other journals, and chaired the advisory board of BYU Studies.
He served in numerous Church callings, including as a bishop, a stake president, an MTC branch president, and as president of the Zurich Switzerland Mission. Brother Cracroft passed away in September of 2012.