James Earl Rudder statue unveiled in Brady

News Connection

SAN ANGELO, TX – 75 years ago today, U.S. troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France during World War II. One of the historic battles on that day was led by a man named Earl Rudder, who happens to be from Brady, TX.

The city of Brady and the Heart of Texas Historical Museum unveiled a statue in memory of James Earl Rudder for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “It really got started about four years ago when Dr. Hatfield [who] wrote the book ‘From Leader to Legend,'” said Kyle Moseley, President, Heart of Texas Historical Museum​.​​​​​​ “He mentioned that it would be nice if our citizens of Brady could have a statue in his honor.”

Rudder famously returned from World War II and eventually became president and chancellor for Texas A&M University. He is perhaps best known for leading efforts to desegregate the school on the basis of race and gender.

His son, worked closely with the museum in Brady. “I did give them the uniform here that dad retired in,” said James Earl Rudder Jr. “When he retired from the service after 35 good years in 1967 while he was of course still at A&M. I’m most proud of his consistent value system. [Also] I got to see the statue before it got turned into bronze and that was a real pleasure.”

Salado sculptor Troy Kelley is proud to have been asked to participate in this momentous remembrance. “I knew of the museum and the museum knew of me,” said Kelley. “When they decided that they needed a sculpture of Earl Rudder they contacted me and of course I was very pleased to do it. It’s been actually a labor of love for me.”

In addition to Brady residents, over 60 members of the Rudder family attended the unveiling of the statue. In honor of D-Day, the statue contains a small bottle of sand from the beaches of Normandy in its base.

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