James Earl Rudder '32 Collection, 1918-2001
[Back to Formatted Version]
Brief Description:

The collection spans the life of James Earl Rudder. The James Earl Rudder Papers (1918-2001 (bulk: 1944-1970)) are arranged into nine series, the first seven roughly corresponding to the chronology of James Earl Rudder's life, with an additional section devoted to materials collected mainly by his wife, Margaret Rudder, and a final one devoted to any memorabilia and awards received.  The collection includes materials from Rudder’s time in the service during WWII, clippings from newspapers, as well as posters, magazine issues, memorabilia, and Rudder’s awards.




Separated Materials


Items permanently loaned as of December 13, 2002 to the Texas A&M University Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Center for display purposes include:

• 1 Class A hat with field grade insignia

• 2 Fatigue caps, one soft, one barrel shaped rigid with MGen insignia

• 8 Field caps as follows:

• 1 with Major General insignia

• 1 with Brigardier General insignia

• 1 American Legion

• 1 VFW Lodge 856—National Security Committee

• 1 VFW Lodge 856—National Security Committee Vice Chairman

• 1 VFW Lodge 856—National Security Committee Chairman, 1965-1966

• 1 VFW 4692 Life Member—National Security & Foreign Affairs Committee, 1960-1970

• 1 VFW Lodge 856—Texas

• 1 Set Major General Insignia, class A embroidered stars

Held at:
Cushing Library
5000 Texas A&M
College Station, TX 77840
Phone: (979) 845-1951
Fax: (979) 845-1441
Email: Aeon [at] lib-gw.tamu.edu
Record Series Number: 02/
Created by: Rudder, James Earl (1910 - 1970)
Volume: 97.0 Boxes

This collection is separated into 10 series:


Series 1. Early Life, 1918 - 1933.

Series 2. Coaching and Teaching, 1933 - 1941.

Series 3. Military Service, 1941 - Apr. 1969.

Series 4. Brady, Texas, 1946 - 1959.

Series 5. Commissioner of the General Land Office, 1930 - 1959.

Series 6. Texas A&M University System, 1958 - 1970.

Series 7. Final Illness and Death, Feb. 2, 1970 - 1977.

Series 8. Margaret Rudder, Mar. 22, 1942 - Oct. 24, 2001.

Series 9. Awards and Ephemera.

        Series 10. Miscellaneous


Maps that originally arrived as part of this collection are stored seperately in mapcases, rather than being housed in boxes with the rest of the collection.

If there are any particular items you might be interested in during a visit, please contact Cushing Library in advance.

Online Catalog Terms


Rudder, James Earl

Rudder, Margaret

Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines)

Shivers, Allan



Texas General Land Office, Commissioner

Texas A&M University System, Office of the Chancellor

Texas A&M University, Office of the President

Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States



World War II, 1939-1945




Texas Political Campaigns

College Administrators


Aircraft Industry



Normandy, France

Brady, Texas

College Station, Texas

Biographical Note for Rudder, James Earl (1910 - 1970):

James Earl Rudder was born on May 6, 1910, in Eden, Texas. After graduating from high school in 1927, Rudder attended John Tarleton Agricultural College. In 1930 he transferred to Texas A & M College, graduating in 1932 with a B.S. in Industrial Education. Upon his graduation he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry of the U. S. Army Reserves. Rudder served as a football coach and teacher for the high school in Brady, Tex., from 1933 to 1938. In 1937, he married Margaret Exa Williamson, who was also a teacher at the Brady High School. He coached football for John Tarleton College from 1938 until 1941, when he was called to active duty in the United States Army as a 1st Lieutenant.

During World War II, Rudder was stationed initially with the 2nd Infantry Division at Ft. Sam Houston, and later became a Battalion Executive Officer with the 83rd Infantry Division. In the summer of 1943, he organized the 2nd Ranger Battalion. On June 6, 1944, the Rangers landed at Pointe du Hoc, on the shore of Normandy, as a part of the Allied invasion of Europe, and scaled its 100-foot cliff.

After the war, Rudder returned to Brady where he became a rancher and businessman. Elected mayor of Brady in 1946, he held the post until 1952. Rudder later served as Vice President, Public and Labor Relations Counselor at Brady Aviation Corporation from 1952 to 1955.

During his tenure as mayor, Rudder developed important political connections in Texas, most notably with Governor Allan Shivers and then-State Senator Lyndon B. Johnson.  In January 1955, Rudder became the Commissioner of the General Land Office of the State of Texas and Chairman of the Veterans Land Board, to finish out a predecessor’s unfinished term.  Rudder won popular election to the post in 1956; he remained in office as Commissioner until he was appointed Vice President of Texas A&M on February 1, 1958. He became President of the university on July 1, 1959. Rudder's position as President was combined with the position of Chancellor for the Texas A&M University System on September 1, 1965. Rudder served as both President of Texas A&M University and the University System until his death.

James Earl Rudder died 23 Mar. 1970 and is buried in College Station, TX.

Access Restrictions: Restricted access to original videocassettes and 16mm films, for which duplicate copies have been made for patron use. Restricted access to very fragile wooden field map case, and audiocassettes, for which duplicates have not yet been made.
Subject Index
Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas
Ranch Life -- Texas
Texas A&M University
World War II
Genres/Forms of Material
Government Records
State Records
University Records
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Physical Access Notes: This collection is located in an off-site storage facility.  As such, any requests to view the collection must be made at least 3 business days in advance of the patron's visit.
Technical Access Notes: Equipment to view casettes and films is available for use in the Cushing Memorial Library Reading Room.
Acquisition Notes: Received from Margaret W. Rudder of Bryan, TX in October 2002.