Karanikas, Alexander 1916-2006

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Karanikas, Alexander 1916-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born September 23, 1916, in Manchester, NH; died of prostate cancer, November 30, 2006, in Oak Park, IL; Educator and author. Karanikas was a former English professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago whose fiction, poetry, and nonfiction often celebrated his Greek heritage. He attended the University of New Hampshire for two years before earning his bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1939. While Karanikas was attending graduate school at Northwestern University, America entered World War II. Karanikas served with the U.S. Army and was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he was a correspondent for the military magazine Yank. After the war, he completed his education at Northwestern, receiving his doctorate in 1953. He taught English there for a year before joining the University of Illinois faculty in 1954. Karanikas would remain at the Chicago campus until his 1982 retirement. Even then, he continued teaching there as an unpaid professor. He was the author of the poetry collections In Praise of Heroes (1945) and Stepping Stones (1993), as well as such nonfiction titles as Tillers of a Myth: Southern Agrarians as Social and Literary Critics (1966) and Hellenes and Hellions: Modern Greek Characters in American Literature (1981). In his later years, Karanikas also explored acting and appeared in a number of television commercials and Illinois tourism promotions. His more recent work includes the coauthored musical Nashville Dreams (1991) and the screenplay Marika (2003), which won the Moondance Film Festival's Neptune Award.



Chicago Tribune, December 12, 2006, section 3, p. 8.