Friday, 30 September 2016

Obituaries: Stjepan Gaži, Joseph Kraja, Bonifacije Perović - JCS 20

Obituaries: Stjepan Gaži, Joseph Kraja, Bonifacije Perović


Stjepan Gaži, Professor of European History at Black Hills State College, Spearfish, South Dakota and a member of the Croatian Academy of America died on September 15, 1978.

Gaži was born on August 9, 1914 in Peteranec, Croatia. He obtained his law degree from the University of Zagreb in 1939. From 1942—1944 he studied at Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland and received a Ph.D in history from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. in 1962., His Ph.D. thesis was entitled Stjepan Radić and Croatian Question.

Gaži was a contributor to the Journal of Croatian Studies and to several Croatian-language periodicals and newspapers, especially to Hrvatski glas, published in Winnipeg, Canada. He edited Spomenica (Winnipeg, 1952) and was the author of Croatian Immigration to Allegheny County 1882-1914 (Pittsburgh, 1956) which was published by the Croatian Fraternal Union. His book A History of Croatia (New York, Philosophical Library 1973) is, as he indicated in the preface, a survey based on the texts of leading Croatian historians. "I wrote A History of Croatia with the intention to tell my children and their children's children the history of the land and people of their ancestors. It could only be done with the most scrupulous respect to the historically documented facts", Gaži said in the introduction.

Together with his wife Elizabeth, Gaži translated from Croatian into English the book In the Struggle for Freedom, by Vladko Maček, President of the Croatian Peasant Party (New York, Robert Speller & Sons, 1957).

He is survived by his wife Elizabeth and four children.


Joseph Kraja, a long-time member of the -Croatian Academy of America died in Youngstown, Ohio on November 16, 1979.

Kraja war born on March 7, 1891 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He was trained at the Naval Academy for the service at sea. In 1907 he came to the United States to his father Nicholas, who was ill. When the father died, Kraja's family in Croatia urged him to remain in America.

As a very young man he began work at the printing plant in New York and immediately became active in Croatian affairs and in one way or another he will continue to be involved throughout his long lifetime. After New York he worked in printing plants in Chicago and Cleveland and became an expert in his trade. Being an erudite his interests widened beyond his specialty. In 1914 he settled down in Youngstown joining the leaders of several ethnic groups who formed the United Printing Co. Kraja's proficiency in several languages and his expertise made him extremely valuable for new enterprise. He worked there as a printer one year only to be promoted and placed in charge of the printing department. Several foreign-language weeklies were printed in the United Printing Co. Among them was a Croatian language paper, Hrvatska Štampa, published and edited by Kraja.

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