SF State English Professor, KQED “Forum” host Michael Krasny announces retirement


Emily Curiel

Author, professor and the host of KQED’s ‘Forum’ Michael Krasny smiles and looks away during his walk on a trail overlooking the bay water at Blackie’s Pasture in Tiburon on Dec. 6, 2020. (Emily Curiel / Golden Gate Xpress)

Blackies Pasture overlooks downtown San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Oakland Bay Bridge. This is where Michael Krasny has spent part of his time since the start of the pandemic. 

His stride is short, but his pace is quick as he walks the pasture to get in his 3-4 mile walk for the day. Although he does not want to retire and has the energy to keep going, he said that he feels this is the time to hang up the headphones and enjoy the view. 

“I used to think they’d have to take me out in a casket … But you get to the point where you slow down. Especially if you have a grandchild, for me it’s life transforming,” Krasny said. 

Michael Krasny walks on a trail by the bay water at Blackie’s Pasture. He said that his personal goal is to walk 3-4 miles every day. (Emily Curiel / Golden Gate Xpress) (Emily Curiel)

 From graduating with a Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin to becoming a professor at SF State in 1970, to being the host of KQED’s Forum, Krasny, the nearly three-decades-long host of KQED’s “Forum,” has had a remarkable career. His last day will be Feb. 15, 2021, according to KQED’s press release

Krasny started hosting Forum in 1990, and in those 30 years he has covered countless conversations for the residents of the Bay Area. He has interviewed high profile people such as former President Barack Obama, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and famous photographer Annie Leibovitz. 

Krasny is also retiring from his full-time teaching career at SF State, where he has been a lecturer in English Literature since 1970.

“I will have just a lot more time to write and lecture,” Krasney said. “I’ll still be doing some teaching, but not as much. And I’ll probably be doing broadcasting, but not every day.”

When he retires, Krasny is looking forward to spending time with his 8-month-old granddaughter, whom he hopes to see as soon as it is safe to travel. Krasny hopes to pursue more writing in his spare time, along with teaching from time to time. Krasny also added that one of the reasons for his retirement is to spend more time with his wife, who also recently retired from being a food lawyer. 

“My father was a factory worker. My mother never graduated high school. I wanted to make them proud,” Krasny said. “I think I did. I mean, they didn’t expect to raise someone with a doctor title or a professor title and become a public figure and all that. I’m not sure what would have happened if I didn’t have a lot of ambition to make my family proud.”