He graduated from the University of Chicago and Western Reserve University with a master's degree in 1928. He was an organizer of the Flint Sit-Down Strike, and edited The Flint Auto Worker. Sol Dollinger was critical of his account of the strike.
He married Dorothy Kraus, who helped organize the UAW Women's Auxiliary. He was the first editor of the United Automobile Workers' newspaper, The United Auto Worker. He moved to Paris, and worked as a European correspondent for World Wide Medical News Service. His papers are at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.
The Henry Kraus Papers at the Walter P. Reuther Library date from 1926-1960. His papers reflect his attempts to organize auto workers and the early history of the United Automobile Workers from 1935-1941. Particularly well-documented in the collection are the Flint sit-down strike and factionalism within the UAW.
- Heroes of Unwritten Story, University of Illinois Press, 1994, ISBN 978-0-252-06397-8
- The Many and the Few, University of Illinois Press, 1947, ISBN 978-0-252-01199-3
- The Living Theater of Medieval Art, Indiana University Press, 1967 (reprint University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972, ISBN 978-0-8122-1056-9)
- Hidden World of Misericords, Authors Dorothy Kraus, Henry Kraus, Joseph, 1976, ISBN 978-0-7181-1485-5
- Gothic Stalls of Spain, Authors Dorothy Kraus, Henry Kraus, Routledge, 1986, ISBN 978-0-7102-0294-9
- Gold Was the Mortar: The Economics of Cathedral Building. Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979, ISBN 978-0-7100-8728-7
- "Henry Kraus, Labor Historian And Writer on European Art, 89", The New York Times, LAWRENCE VAN GELDER, February 1, 1995
- "Kraus", University of Michigan-Flint Labor History Project