I am very sad to announce the death of Otto Kroeger

Otto Party

Otto Kroeger 1933-2013

Otto was OKA’s founder, a giant in the field of Personality Type, a best-selling author of many bedrock books in the field, including Type Talk At Work, and my good friend and mentor.

Otto’s life and work touched many thousands around the world. He was a bigger-than-life character who lived and loved in extremes and left the world richer than he found it. In the coming days and weeks, I will be posting and linking to thoughts and remembrances to help everyone who has been in Otto’s orbit to both grieve his loss and celebrate a big life fully-lived.

As per Otto’s wishes, a memorial service will be held in Northern Virginia in the Spring of 2014. Otto always loved it when the Falls Church azaleas were in bloom. Details of the memorial service will be announced in the coming months.

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51 Responses

  1. Walter Hogan says:

    I met Otto in July 5-9, 1993 when I certified in the MBTI with him as my facilitator. That experience changed my career direction and gave me purposeful work to do with others. Thanks Otto,

    Walt Hogan
    President, Symbiosis

  2. OKAUser says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. My deep sympathy to his family, his OKA family, and all his loved-ones. To be in Otto’s presence was to know warmth and joy.–Shahrzad Arasteh

  3. OKAUser says:

    Otto was a huge influence on my beliefs as to the best ways to use type theory–and his legacy lives on through everyone who uses hands-on experiences to teach others about type. I am so glad he received the Mary McCaulley Lifetime Achievement Award from APTi this summer–he achieved what many of us would need several lifetimes to do!
    -Jane Kise

  4. OKAUser says:

    Dear Hile and the rest of Otto’s family at home and at work-

    Oh my, it’s like the oxygen is getting sucked out of the air around you, no? I am sure that this void is already or will soon be replaced by the replenishing and refreshing waters of Otto’s exuberance, wisdom, hilarity and love.

    My heart is with all of you as you move through each day of remembrance and healing.

    And to Otto, I have two words for the life you’ve led: Well done.


    Karla Robertson

  5. Nancy Silcox says:

    This is a sad moment for so many of us who loved and respected Otto. I trained as a practitioner at OKA in 2000 and although Otto was not there at the time I had the privilege of meeting and hearing him at the British APT Conference a few years later. Finding his book ‘Type Talk’ was a great blessing for me and led me to train and use this fantastic knowledge of Type in my life, as well as sharing it through workshops, talks and written articles in my Church, youth group, womens clubs, etc. My sympathy to Otto’s family and friends–may his impact continue through the years to come. Nancy Silcox in the UK.

  6. Zelda Tenenbaums says:

    Otto is smiling as he makes people in heaven laugh with his beautiful humor. He will be missed. Zelda Tenenbaum

  7. OKAUser says:

    The world is a sadder place with Otto’s passing. All who had the opportunity to know Otto, or hear him speak, were touched by his warmth and humour. My deepest sympathies to Otto’s family and work-family. –Denise Hughes

  8. Margaret Mcintyre says:

    Otto indeed left a rich legacy of work and touched the lives of many.
    I will offer a prayer for his loved ones, that they find peace in their loss.

    Margaret McIntyre

  9. Judy Vogel says:

    It is hard to imagine Otto gone. What a brilliant thinker, delicious presence and huge contributor. I will miss him. I send sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    Yes, please let us know when the service will be; we’d want to attend.

  10. Dave Hardy says:

    May he rest in peace! Fair winds and following seas, Captain.

  11. Ed Pallas says:

    The Kroger family and OKA staff have my deepest condolences. I know Otto had a positive impact on thousands of lives. I can only imagine the conversations he is having with Carl Jung as they both look down on the world from above.

  12. Wynn Rees says:

    Dear Hile and others at OKA.

    I am sorry to learn the news of Otto’s death.
    He was able to communicate both the complexity of the ramifications of Type together with the simplicity of the ideas underpinning it.
    The simplicity of Type is what I shall remember him for especially characterised by his hamburger model he famously performed. I loved his performance at BAPT some years ago. His epithet of “51% of your day in your preferences is a good day” I remember and use. Wynn

  13. Matt Minahan says:

    Otto defied all the odds. He led my MBTI training in 1983 and he certainly had no reason to remember me or my type, as I was one of about a dozen in that class. And, yet, when we would see each other around town and and other OD events, he never failed to remember the room we worked in (oddly shaped), my name, and my type. That was 30 years ago. He was a being of another species . . . and I will miss him.

    • Jean-Yves Maillat says:

      I too had my training and certification with Otto, a few years after you did. He was a larger than life character. He brought life and meaning to the MBTI and made me a convert.
      As others have said here: well done.

  14. Leah Meisel says:

    What a loss – As with anyone who had the opportunity to learn from him, I feel so fortunate to have known him and experienced MBTI his way. My heart goes out to his family and anyone who was touched by Otto as I was.
    Leah Meisel

  15. Corrin Howe says:

    I’m sorry to hear of his passing. I heard from Bob that he wasn’t in good health. I’m sorry for all those who knew him personally and will miss him.

  16. Sally Campbell says:

    Otto …a true character, fun, perceptive, highly intelligent and a champion of people development and self awareness. A wonderful storyteller, an excellent researcher and writer of books that connected people to type. The world is poorer without him.
    Sally Campbell
    Isle of Arran

  17. D'Arcy McCallum says:

    He certainly was a giant in the field. I met him and his wife in a seminar they were giving up in Kitchener or Waterloo, Ontario in the mid-to-late 90’s. Afterwards my girlfriend and I had a little chat with them. I’m an INFP and she was an ENFJ. They both smiled and he told us that this would be interesting. It was. My sympathies to all his family and his thousands of nearest friends.

  18. Kimo Kippen says:

    Otto will be extremely missed. Through his competence and personal stories learning was always fun! My deepest sympathies and condolences to Otto’s family and extended family.

    Aloha – Kimo

  19. Kristen Kramer says:

    Otto had such a tremendous influence on so many people across the globe. Many of us had the pleasure of personally meeting him, others were touched by his research, writing, and certifications of professionals who went on to share his love of people and personality. The world is a better place because of Otto. He will be missed. I will plant azaleas this spring in my garden in memory of him. ~ Kristen Kramer

  20. Tanuj Negi says:

    Since the day I read Mr. Kroeger’s book ‘TypeTalk’, I have been a fan.
    This is a big loss. My condolences to the bereaving family.

    – Tanuj Negi, HCL Technologies, India

  21. Sonya Ware says:

    I first met Otto when he and Hile visited Shell to train a group of HR reps and me in Myers-Briggs. He was a kind spirit, filled with a passion for this work. He basically told me that my type was similar to Oprah, a broke Oprah :)….that is. Rest in Peace Otto.

  22. Mary Ellen Segraves says:

    So sad to hear about Otto. He led my MBTI training at NTL in July, 1991. I remember his wisdom & humor and find myself quoting him often. My condolences to his family and to everyone he has touched over the years.
    -Mary Ellen Segraves – INFJ

  23. Noreen Keesey says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of Otto’s passing. I will remember his warmth, wit, and intellect. He left a wonderful legacy. My thoughts are with all of his family and friends.

  24. Niels says:

    Otto Kroeger was a great inspiration to me. My condolences.

  25. Marie Peeler says:

    Dear Hile and the rest of the OKA family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I did not have the privilege of meeting Otto, but know that his presence was larger than life itself. His influence on the work that we do was immense.
    May your fond memories comfort you as you grieve in the coming days.

    Marie Peeler – Peeler Associates

  26. Lynne Garvey-Hodge, says:

    Otto’s MBTI “joie de vivre” was so amazingly contagious that it became for me an all-consuming way of thinking, living, speaking, facilitating, grieving, praying & rejoicing. It has been an honor to have Walked This MBTI Journey with our precious Guru – who, yes, inspired so many of us! My certification dates to 1992 & follow-on certifications in 1999 & then the Step II in 2007.
    Special memories include: his infectious laugh & droll wit, love of religion, booming rendition of “If I Were a Rich Man”, as Master at the helm of his pontoon boat on Lake Barcroft, holding court at the APT Conference in Newport Beach, CA & paying a visit to my Clifton, VA Bed & Breakfast – where he was officiating at a wedding in a quaint, historic church nearby.
    Otto’s spirit lives on in ALL of us & tonight as I look out on that full moon – my goodness I do believe I see him smiling down on us all…: eyes twinkling, .with that big round face – smiling from ear to ear – knowing now that we have all become the dedicated, well-trained & over-the-top passionate disciples that he, Kathryn & Isabel had always “visioned” – working our craft to, indeed, Make the World a Better Place!
    God Bless You, Otto! Thanks for the Memories!! 🙂
    Lynne Garvey-Hodge, President, LGH, Inc., Clifton, VA

  27. Mark Leheney says:

    Probably all of us have fond and vivid memories of a truly great, special teacher we had along the way — someone who had a unique voice and who had discovered a way to communicate that touched us, made us laugh, helped us really “get” the concepts and made us think deeply.

    Otto was this person for me.

    He defined how good it can get when you’re interacting with people, drawing on a vast archive of information, having fun, and introducing people to a huge body of work that many of us continue researching to this day.

    If Jung were still alive, I’d bet he would say Otto was an individuated person, in whom the transcendent function was operating, and one who lived a good, purposeful life.

    Otto found his call and pursued it fully, reaching countless people and changing lives along the way.

    He’s probably telling a lot of angels right now that they never really got the full scoop on Type, and that they need to pay attention because he’s going to really explain it to them. Our loss; their gain.

  28. Himanshu Rai says:

    This is really sad and a great loss indeed to all of us who have had contact with him.
    He was a great live heart and cool personality.May God give his family Courage and Patience.

    – Himanshu Rai
    Behaviour Analyst and Clinical Psychologist

  29. Joanna Winquist says:

    Darn You, Otto…
    You were supposed to live forever.

    At least now you may find out if you were an ENFJ or an ENFP. In Otto’s words, ‘I tell you, Folks, you gotta know your four letters.’

    You will be missed.

    Joanna Winquist, INFJ

  30. Tom says:

    We need to celebrate this awesome man. His work will project many others into the future.

  31. Carol Rogers says:

    Otto was an incredible visionary and life enthusiast. You could sense and feel his passion for his work / mission. He genuinely cared for those he encountered. I remember with great fondness, the time /patience that he took to assist me in understanding the subtle changes that had occured with my Myers Briggs scores at a certification workshop I attended in 2004. At that time, he invited the class to his home for a celebration. You could see and feel his zest for life, his fondness for travel and the opportunity to share with those he loved and those he met along the way. What an incredible life and an incredible journey. Well done Otto! My sincere condolences to his personal and OKA family! Carol Rogers

  32. OKAUser says:

    Hile, thank you for thinking to share this news. I am so sorry to hear of Otto’s passing, although given his decline this might be blessing for him. Otto helped me reclaim an important part of myself. I will forever be indebted to him. I hope you and his family will find solace knowing the many people he supported in his life. I hope his passing was an easy one. All best to you and yours,

  33. OKAUser says:

    Thinking of Otto, you and OKA today – What a global impact Otto made and how well you carry on the mission. I took 3 classes at OKA in mid 90’s – I have a marriage and have led two top down MBTI implementations using Otto’s workshop design in Fortune 500 companies.. I was forever touched and through Otto have touched the lives of others.

    My thought and prayers are with you, family and friends.

  34. OKAUser says:

    Thank you so much for your personal note. I am very saddened by this news and so sorry for your loss. Otto was an amazing man who touched the lives of many with his passion and love for the MBTI. I will especially remember his joy and humor, and his internal glow which spilled over and on to those he came into contact with. I am so grateful to have had the chance to meet him and attend his classes.

    My condolences to you and to those at OKA.
    Cyndi Branciforte

  35. OKAUser says:

    So very saddened to hear that. Otto was a great father figure to so many of us in the Type community. (Or at least that cool uncle…)

  36. OKAUser says:

    You know, my memories of Otto almost run like movie clips. Part of that is I’m sure due to his great training techniques, but also it was the true power of his messages. Kind of like how you can’t forget Kenneth Branagh delivering the St. Crispin’s Day speech or Chico Marx and the sanity clause–a brilliant blend of meaning and mayhem…but my point is that it makes my memories of Otto truly unforgettable. I know that you feel this new silence even more and my thoughts are with you,

    Otto was a huge influence on my beliefs as to the best ways to use type theory–and his legacy lives on through everyone who uses hands-on experiences to teach others about type. I am so glad he received the Mary McCaulley Lifetime Achievement Award from APTi this summer–he achieved what many of us would need several lifetimes to do!

    Jane Kise

  37. Gina Zielinski says:

    I too like many had the extreme opportunity to be trained by him. That experience and his teaching will remain with me always. By prayers are with his family. May you know the peace and comfort this heartfelt thought imparts. The ones we know and love are never gone but they live within our hearts!

  38. Harrison says:

    I only saw Otto for a brief session at my mbti training at oka around 1991.
    However, I’ve played his DVD talk on J vs P maybe 25 times at a management
    training course and never fail to enjoy it and the way he gets his points across
    with such humor and goodwill. That DVD will continue to get played many
    times more so his legacy and presence will live on. Well done Otto!

  39. Dan Foster says:

    Alan Brownsword introduced me to Otto in the early 70s. In the fall of ’78, both Alan and Otto were working in Southern California and I invited them both to come and conduct a day’s workshop with my alternative high school in Laguna Beach. It was a rare event to see the two working together. I still have contact with students who remember that day.

  40. OKAUser says:

    Oh, Hile. I’m so sad to learn this. Otto was one of the best teachers and mentors I’ve ever had. He was always generous in sharing his knowledge and expertise. There are countless thousands in this world who have been direct and indirect beneficiaries of his teaching and wisdom. I’m grateful to have known and learned from him. Thank you for letting me know. Sincerely,
    Sharon Fountain

  41. OKAUser says:

    I just heard about Otto’s death. My condolences to all the staff. He was a huge factor in my professional development. I miss him. And know that all of you do, as well. Gayle Waldron

  42. Jean Palmer says:

    The universe does some amazing things. I just had a request from someone in California asking me for information on getting certified in the Myers Briggs. I hadn’t checked on something like that for years since I was certified a number of years ago.. I, of course, immediately went to Otto Kroeger Associates since Otto certified me and learned of Otto’s death. As everyone else is saying, he was a wonderful teacher with stories that made the MBTI come alive. His humor and genuine caring came through. I would like to know when the Memorial Service will be held. I no longer live in the DC area but would make an effort to be there to help celebrate his life.

    Jean Palmer

  43. Lynn Hertrick Leavitt says:

    Otto was such an inspirational man and leader. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, my staff members did when then went through the MBTI training. His insight, knowledge and teachings will live on in each of us…yet he will be greatly missed ~
    My condolences to his family and friends ~

  44. Christiane Eichmann says:

    Otto trained me in 2000. It was one of the most fun filled weeks of my life, one that will keep Otto in my memory as long as I shall live. He and Janet and Hile are all a huge part of my professional life, even though they don’t know it. I am so sorry that he is gone.
    My condolences to his family and staff.
    Please let me know about the memorial service.

  45. Richard says:

    I had not realized that Otto had passed, I only met him for a short time in 2001 when I did my MBTI certification at OKA, he had a great impact on me and my practice as a Consultant.

    RIP Mr. MBTI

  46. Lewis Tagliaferre says:

    Oh Otto, this is such a shock…he started me on the MBTI walk of life in 1984 and each time I enountered him afterward it was like a family reunion. I had the honor and pleasure of visiting him at home shortly before he moved to FL and the glow still warms me to think about and recall what it was like to be in his presence even for a few minutes…Otto never met a stranger and appreciated everyone of every type. There is a big hole in the world that no one else can fill…when someone enters your heart like that they never leave.

  47. Alexa says:

    Otto touched more lives than he could have imagined. Mine being one of them. Although he wasn’t aware by how much he as a person affected who my sister and I have become I wish he knew. I wish I had told him when I had the chance. He pulled us out of the worst times we’ve ever gone through. He was there for me when I felt no one else was. Otto is such an inspiration and role model and forever live on in my heart. 🙁

  48. I am so very sad to hear the news of the loss of my dear friend Otto Kroeger. He will always remain for me a mentor who encouraged me to “stretch” myself in so many special ways. When I think of FUN people to be around, Otto comes first on my list. What a funny, funny man…
    We had so many special times together, it seems like just yesterday that we joined for his 60th Birthday celebration at his beautiful lake home in suburban Virginia.
    The world has lost a real gem of a guy… and I have lost a llfetime friend. Thanks for the “stretch” Otto. You were a good friend Always, and I will deeply miss you.
    Harris R. Ghersin, AU/NTL Class 23

  49. Mel Bowen says:

    Learning now – long after his death – that Otto Kroeger is no longer on this planet has made me very sad. I can honestly say Otto changed my life. So many of us can say that. He was a force of nature and I am grateful beyond words that I got to be trained by him. Kind thoughts and well wishes to all of those close to him who feel his loss most keenly.

  50. Alex says:

    “Type Talk @ Work” was the best book about the MBTI (ever) published.

    He will be missed.

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