Author Ogden Kraut, 75, dies

Published: Sunday, July 21 2002 12:00 a.m. MDT

Polygamist author Ogden Kraut, who often provided expert and temperate opinion when polygamist issues rose to public attention, has died at 75.

Mr. Kraut died at his Salt Lake home Wednesday, July 17, 2002. After being diagnosed with liver cancer in March, he spent his last days writing his obituary and planning his funeral. His obituary mentioned no wives and listed his eight children only by their first names.

He wanted to be known as a "fundamentalist Mormon," said Anne Wilde, one of Kraut's wives. "He considered himself a Joseph Smith Mormon — a follower of original Mormonism."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disavowed polygamy a century ago and now excommunicates those who practice it. It also objects to the term "fundamentalist Mormon," contending polygamists are not church members and therefore not Mormons.

In June, more than a 100 members of his extended family threw a birthday party for Mr. Kraut, who spent his life cranking out self-published books about polygamy and theology.

Mr. Kraut was born June 21, 1927, in Shelby, Idaho. He joined the LDS Church in his teens and went to Brigham Young University for one year.

He later worked for John Hyrum Koyle, who claimed to have a vision of a nine-chambered gold mine in the Wasatch Mountains.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at Larkin Sunset Gardens in Sandy with an informal gathering for family and friends today from 6 to 8 p.m. and one hour prior to services. Burial will be in the Salem City Cemetery.

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