Lee B. Croft was born in Montana, attended Montana State University, Arizona State University (BA in Math 1968), University of Arizona (MA in Russian 1970) and Cornell University, earning the Ph.D. in General and Slavic Linguistics in 1973. He taught at Colgate University and at Cornell University as an Assistant Professor of Linguistics, then accepted an Assistant Professorship of Russian at ASU in 1973. He was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 1978, and to Full Professor in 1994. Since 1975 he has served his department as Assistant Chair (1976-80), as Faculty Senator (3X) and as Coordinator (1975-to current with only sabbatical breaks) of Russian and the Slavic Languages. He is the founder and former Director (1991-1997) of ASU's Critical Languages Institute, now administered through the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies, the predecessor organization of which (REESC) he helped form. Throughout his career, he has received numerous recognitions for excellence in teaching and student mentorship and, in 2005, received a lifetime professional achievement medal (the V. I. Vernadsky "Ten Years of RAEN" silver medal with sash and diploma) from the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. In November of 2006 he was elected to be the first Head of the Faculty of German, Romanian, and Slavic in ASU's new School of International Letters and Cultures (SILC).