April 14, 2015 – John Lucht, a leading executive search consultant whose career spanned five decades, including with his own firm, The John Lucht Consultancy, and with Heidrick & Struggles, died Sunday at his home in Raleigh, NC, after a brief illness. He was 81. During a 45-year career, Mr. Lucht recruited the likes of top executives such as John Backe as president and CEO of CBS and Richard Casabonne whom he placed as Grolier’s president. In 1988, Mr. Lucht penned what is widely considered to be one of the best-known books written on careers for professional-level job-seekers and career candidates: Rites of Passage at $100,000 to $1 Million Plus. By its second printing in 2014, Rites of Passage had sold over 400,000 copies. Mr. Lucht’s best selling guide focused on executive employment, job-changing tactics, and career strategy. Two other books were to follow on its heels. “The search world has lost one of its most unique, versatile and powerful practitioners,” said Gerard R. Roche, senior chairman at Heidrick & Struggles. “We at Heidrick who knew him well have lost a warm and colorful friend.” Mr. Lucht, who had no immediate survivors, will be buried in his hometown of Reedsburg, WI.