The curator of the Indianapolis Mayoral Archives at the University of Indianapolis says sports was just one way Bill Hudnut brought attention and business to Indianapolis. Edward Frantz says attracting the Colts to Indianapolis and spearheading efforts surrounding the Hoosier Dome showed the country, "We’re more than just a race in May." Hudnut passed away this weekend in Maryland, where Frantz says he remained an ambassador for Indianapolis.
During an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Frantz said Hudnut used other major efforts, like the recovery from the blizzard of 1978, to galvanize the city and make people proud to be from Indianapolis. He also cites the "Hudnut Hook," where the former mayor used his background as a basketball player to get people to pick up trash in the city.
Frantz says charisma may have been Hudnut’s biggest asset, saying in his 70s and 80s, Hudnut "had more charisma than many of us will ever have in our primes." He says people wanted to be around him, and he wanted to be around them, which proved to be a major tool in politics.
Frantz, a history professor at the University of Indianapolis, is curator of the archives,which began under Hudnut’s direction. They include still photos, television footage and radio interviews outlining the impact Hudnut and other Indianapolis mayors had on the city.
?Hudnut’s family says they are planning two public memorial services – one in Washington D.C. and the other in Indianapolis. He passed away at 84 following a lengthy illness.