From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Craft, Thomas, J. Sr.

(born: Dec. 27, 1924  -  died: March 8, 2022) 

Thomas J. Craft, Sr. was born in Monticello, KY, the son of Wonnie Alta Travis Craft and Thomas M. Craft. He  was a nephew of Oneth Travis, Sr. For generations, his family had lived near Albany, KY.

Craft, Sr. graduated from the Colored school in Monticello and started college in 1941 but was drafted before he finished his degree and served with the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. After the war, he returned to Monticello, then went on to completed his bachelor's degree in 1948, his master's in 1950, and his Ph.D. in 1963.

His research involved transplants, skin grafts,  and the problem of graft rejection. Craft conducted research with amphibians and discovered a correlation between the release of stress hormones and the rejection of skin grafts.

He held tenured positions at several universities and was inducted into the Central State University Hall of Fame in 1993.

For more see African Americans in Science, Math and Invention, by R. Spangenbur and K. Moserand;  Distinguished African American Scientists of the 20th Century, by J. H. Kessler, et al; "Thomas J. Craft Sr: African American Biologist" at YouTube ; Thomas Craft Obituary at; and his Memorial at


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: African Americans in science, math, and invention
NKAA Source: Distinguished African American scientists of the 20th Century

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Travis, Oneth Morview, Sr.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Craft, Thomas, J. Sr.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 25, 2023,

Last modified: 2022-06-03 19:21:54