March 15, 1926–March 14, 2003
BY KARL K. TUREKIAN
HARMON BUSHNELL CRAIG (he never used his middle name) was born in the borough of Manhattan in New York City on March 15th, 1926. He died on March 14th, 2003, a day short of his seventy-seventh birthday. Craig was the product of two major forces in his life. His father, John Craig Jr., was from a family long in the theater as actors, directors, and producers. Indeed, John Craig’s major activities, after his heroic involvement in World War I, were in running theaters in the northeastern United States. Young Harmon was surrounded by a theatrical crowd during his early childhood. His mother came from a long line of activist Quakers, who, starting before the Civil War, established schools for freed slaves. This activity moved the family from its initial homestead in Virginia westward, finally to Kansas. The influence of his mother’s ethos permeated young Harmon as his mother fed his inquisitive mind with books on a wide range of subjects, especially those heroic and exploratory in nature. It was the blending of the thespian and the Quaker ethos that shaped young Harmon in his early years and set the behavior pattern of his later life.
Harmon’s youthful love of adventure, adventurers, and science blossomed into a career in the earth sciences when he discovered fossils in a rock on a family outing. He went