About Michael Kraft Memorial Fund

On February 22, 2020, the brilliant flame displayed by Michael C. Kraft for 55 years was too soon dimmed.

He was born on March 16, 1964 in Columbus, OH and was a graduate of Lawrence High School (Lawrence, KS). He attended the University of Kansas, spurring a lifelong love for Jayhawks basketball, before following his aspirations in television and film production to the University of Texas. His extensive studies in television and design laid the groundwork for a remarkable career at CNN that spanned over 25 years. When you asked Michael about the work he did for CNN, his entire presence instantly lit up. Even when honored for his achievements, which included the receipt of a 2016 Emmy Award, it was abundantly clear he cared most for the relationships he fostered with his colleagues across the network over the years.

Michael, beyond being a highly revered individual in the community, was an innately loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He had a beautifully gentle demeanor, and an unobtrusive wittiness that could bring laughter and smiles to an entire room. He treated those around him with an unfailing compassion that will never be forgotten.

He is survived by his wife, Laura Cornelius Kraft and children Kathleen (Katie) Kraft and Matthew (Matt) Kraft, his mother Suzanne Bintz Burkhart, father David C. Kraft (Rebecca) and sisters Susan (George) McCray and Jeannine Kraft (Tom Chalfant), as well as niece and nephews, and close network of cousins.
Michael and the love of his life, Laura, spent over 30 years by each other’s side.

In recognition of the dedication and passion that Mr. Kraft displayed towards tennis and his career, AYTEF has established a scholarship fund in his name to support underserved AYTEF youth pursuing education and career goals.