Dr. Crane was born in Cambridge,
MA. In 1945, at the age of 16, he entered Harvard University to study Russian as the first
step in becoming an international journalist. In 1948, he became the first
American permitted to study at a university in Occupied
Germany, having been accepted at the University of Munich. There he studied the sociology of religion and prepared a book on
the phenomenon of totalitarian ideology and on the spiritual dynamics of resistance against it. As a result of “field
work” with the anti-Communist underground in Eastern
Europe, he celebrated his twentieth birthday as a prisoner in Stalin’s Gulag
Upon his return to the United
States, Dr. Crane got his B.A. from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1956, graduating summa
cum laude, with majors in political
science, economic planning and Sino-Soviet studies. He went on to obtain his
J.D. from Harvard Law School, Cambridge,
MA in 1959 with specialty in comparative
legal systems and international investment. His thesis was
titled "The Accommodation of Ethics in International Commercial
Arbitration" and was published in the Arbitration Journal, Fall 1959.
At Harvard, he also founded the Harvard International Law
Journal and acted as the first president of the Harvard International Law
Dr. Crane was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1960.
In 1962, Dr. Crane became one of the four co-founders of the first
Washington-based foreign-policy think-tank, the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS). In 1966, he left to become Director of Third World
Studies at the first professional futures forecasting center, The Hudson
Institute, led by Herman Kahn.
From the time of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 until the
beginning of Richard Nixon’s victorious campaign for the
presidency in 1967, Dr. Crane was a foreign policy adviser, responsible for
preparing a “reader's digest” of professional articles for him on the key
foreign policy issues. During the campaign, Dr. Crane collected his position
papers into a book, Inescapable Rendezvous: New Directions for American
Foreign Policy, with a foreword by Congressman Gerald Ford,
who succeeded Nixon as President.
On January 20, 1969, Dr. Crane moved into the White House
as Deputy Director (for Planning) of the National Security Council.
The next day, the Director, Henry
Kissinger, fired him because they differed on key foreign policy issues.
In 1977-78 he spent a year as Principal Economic and Budget
Adviser to the Finance Minister in the Emirate of Bahrain.
In September 1981, President Ronald
Reagan appointed Dr. Crane to be U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, but this also was
short-lived. President Reagan’s friend, Judge William Clark, who became
Director of the National Security Council, wanted Crane, as the first Muslim
American ambassador, to pursue two-track diplomacy by developing relations with
the various Islamist
movements in the Middle East and North
Africa. The new Secretary of State, Alexander
Haig, did not agree with this policy and had him fired.
From the early 1980s, Dr. Crane has worked full-time as a Muslim
activist in America. From 1983 to 1986, he was the Director of Da’wa at the
Islamic Center on Massachusetts Avenue in Washington, D.C. In 1986 he joined
the International Institute of
Islamic Thought as its Director of Publications, and then helped to found
the American Muslim Council, serving as
Director of its Legal Division from 1992 to 1994.
From 1994 until the present time he has headed his own research
centers and cooperated with others, including the United Association for
Studies and Research, for whose house-organ, The Middle East Affairs Journal,
he was Managing Editor from 1996 to 2000. He is also a
founding editor for the online magazine The American Muslim, in which he has
contributed a regular column since its establishment in 1989.
Dr. Crane was also the founding President of the American Muslim
Bar Association in 1993.
His hobbies include long- distance running and mountaineering.
He is bi-lingual in English and German, is fluent and was once
almost bi-lingual in Russian and Spanish, has some knowledge of French and Latin,
and has been studying Arabic for more than thirty years.
His more than a dozen authored or co-authored books include:
These books have been augmented by numerous monographs, including
the following produced under the Islamic Institute for Strategic Studies before
the September 11, 2001 attacks: