Gerald Strauss joined the faculty at IU Bloomington in 1959 as an assistant professor of history. He was appointed to the faculty of the Graduate School in 1960, promoted to associate professor in 1961, and awarded a Fulbright to lecture at University College in Dublin, Ireland, in 1961-1962. He was promoted to full professor in 1964, served as a visiting professor at Cornell University in 1964-1965, studied abroad as a Guggenheim Fellow in 1965-1966, and became a Guggenheim Fellow a second time in 1972-1973. He received five National Endowment for the Humanities grants throughout his career (1979, 1979-1980, 1981, 1985-1986, and 1993). He was appointed a distinguished professor of history in 1983, and retired in 1989, after 30 years at IU with the title distinguished professor emeritus of history.
Strauss immigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1939, served in the U.S. military during World War II, and studied at Boston University after the war, receiving a B.A. in 1949. He continued his higher education at Columbia University, earning an M.A. in 1950, and a Ph.D. in 1957. His first professional appointment was as an assistant professor at the University of Alabama from 1957 to 1959.
Strauss authored eight books during his career. He published his first book just two years after receiving his Ph.D. It was titled, Sixteenth‐Century Germany: Its Topographers and Topography (University of Wisconsin Press, 1959). The Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, a professional society interested in early modern studies, named the Gerald Strauss Book Prize in honor of Gerald Strauss. The prize is awarded at the society's annual meeting for "the best book published in English during the preceding year in the field of German Reformation history."
Strauss passed away on March 7, 2006, in Amherst, Massachusetts.