William H. Hudnut III

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William H. Hudnut III
A black-and-white photo of Hudnut dressed in a suit
45th Mayor of Indianapolis
In office
January 1, 1976 – January 1, 1992
Preceded byRichard Lugar
Succeeded byStephen Goldsmith
Mayor of Chevy Chase, Maryland
In office
May 4, 2004[1] – May 2, 2006
Preceded byMier Wolf[2]
Succeeded byLinna M. Barnes
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Preceded byAndrew Jacobs, Jr.
Succeeded byAndrew Jacobs, Jr.
Personal details
William Herbert Hudnut III

(1932-10-17)October 17, 1932
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
DiedDecember 18, 2016(2016-12-18) (aged 84)
Chevy Chase, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Anne Goodyear
Susan Greer Rice
Beverly Guidara
Alma materPrinceton University (AB)
Union Theological Seminary (BD)

William Herbert Hudnut III (October 17, 1932 – December 18, 2016) was an American author and politician who served as the 45th mayor of Indianapolis from 1976 to 1992. A Republican, his four terms made him the city's longest-serving mayor. He had previously represented the Indianapolis area in Congress from 1973 to 1975 but was defeated in his race for a second term.

Early life and career

Hudnut was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on October 17, 1932. He attended the Darrow School in New Lebanon, New York, and graduated from Princeton University in 1954 with an A.B. in history and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.[3] As part of his undergraduate degree, Hudnut completed a senior thesis titled "Samuel Stanhope Smith: Enlightened Conservative."[4] He earned a Master's Degree in Theology from the Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and was ordained a clergyman in 1957.[1]

Hudnut was an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church and was the senior pastor of Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis from 1964 to 1972. He led the congregation with a moderate but active stance through the social issues of the 1960s, including the Vietnam War and race relations.[5] He had previously served churches in Buffalo, New York, and Annapolis, Maryland.

In the 1972 Republican primary for Indiana's 11th congressional district, Hudnut defeated future Congressman Dan Burton.[6] After winning the general election against four-term Congressman Andrew Jacobs, Jr., he served only one term in the 93rd United States Congress. While in Congress he sponsored seventeen bills that became law,[3] but he lost his reelection bid to Jacobs.[1]

Hudnut received honorary degrees from 13 colleges and universities.[citation needed] In 1974, he became a Freemason in Irvington Lodge No. 666, which was later absorbed by Prospect Lodge 714.[7] He was also a member of the Antelope Club.[8]

Mayor of Indianapolis

Hudnut became the mayor of Indianapolis in 1976. taking over from Richard Lugar, who had been the architect of the Unigov legislation that merged the government structures of Indianapolis and Marion County. Hudnut's goal was to change the city from "India-NO-place" to "India-SHOW-place."[9] His mayorship was defined by economic development in downtown Indianapolis, business, construction, and sports.[citation needed]

Hudnut's policies were entrepreneurial, and he hoped to attract economic development by taking risks with raising taxes and issuing bonds. He opposed deficit spending and kept the city's bond rating at AAA.[9] He aimed for job growth, a widened tax base, and law and order. The city spent large amounts on tax incentives, infrastructure improvements, and development projects to attract business to the downtown area.[citation needed]

Over the sixteen years of his term, more than 30 major building projects took place downtown, including renovations and expansions to Monument Circle, Indianapolis Union Station, the Indiana University School of Medicine, and the Indiana Convention Center. Many office buildings were constructed, and companies such as Eli Lilly and American United Life committed to staying in Indianapolis.[9]

Indianapolis became known as the Amateur Sports Capital of the World, due in part to Hudnut's efforts at marketing the city. While mayor, Indianapolis held the 1987 Pan American Games and the 1982 National Sports Festival. Hudnut formed the Indiana Sports Corporation, which directed sporting projects such as the Indianapolis Tennis Center, the Major Taylor Velodrome, and the IUPUI Natatorium.[9] In 1980, Hudnut formed a committee on building a new stadium to attract a National Football League team.[10] With the newly built Hoosier Dome and other incentives, he secretly negotiated with Baltimore Colts owner Robert Irsay to bring the team to Indianapolis from Baltimore. On March 29, 1984 he organized the team's middle-of-the-night departure to Indianapolis with Mayflower moving vans, and he called it "one of the greatest days in the history of this city".[11]

Hudnut was also president of the National League of Cities and a member of the board for over twenty years.[3] In 1988, Hudnut was named City & State magazine's Nation's Most Valuable Public Official. In 1985, he earned the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, and in 1986, a Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.[3]

Hudnut was a presidential elector in the 1980 Presidential election.[12]

In 1990, Hudnut ran for Indiana Secretary of State, but lost to Joe Hogsett. He chose not to run for a fifth term as mayor in 1991.[9]

In 2015, Hudnut was among five current and former mayors to oppose Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, arguing that it would undo the efforts of making Indianapolis an "inclusive, caring, and hospitable city".[13]

Later career

Hudnut served at the Hudson Institute in Indianapolis from 1992 to 1994, and was president of the Civic Federation in Chicago from 1994 to 1996. In 2004, Hudnut took office as the mayor of the town of Chevy Chase, Maryland.[1] He held the Joseph C. Canizaro Chair for Public Policy for the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.,[14] from 1996 to 2010. He then taught at the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University in the MPS Real Estate Program, of which he became executive director.

Hudnut authored five books:[3]

  • Minister Mayor, 1987, about his political and religious experiences
  • The Hudnut Years in Indianapolis, 1976–1991, 1995, about city leadership
  • Cities on the Rebound, 1998, an analysis of future successful cities
  • Halfway to Everywhere, 2003, about America's best suburbs
  • Changing Metropolitan America: Planning for a More Sustainable Future, 2008

In December 2014, Hudnut returned to Indianapolis for the unveiling of the "Mayor Bill" statue on the corner of Maryland Street and Capitol Avenue.[15]

Electoral history

Indiana's 11th congressional district election, 1972[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andrew Jacobs, Jr. 91,238 48.8
Republican William H. Hudnut III 95,839 51.2
Indiana's 11th congressional district election, 1974[17]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William H. Hudnut III (Incumbent) 73,793 47.5
Democratic Andrew Jacobs, Jr. 81,508 52.5
Indianapolis mayoral election, 1975[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William H. Hudnut III 124,100 52.2
Democratic Robert V. Welch 109,761 46.1
Indianapolis mayoral election, 1979[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William H. Hudnut III (Incumbent) 124,515 73.9
Democratic Paul Cantwell 43,955 26.1
Indianapolis mayoral election, 1983[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William H. Hudnut III (Incumbent) 134,550 67.5
Democratic John J. Sullivan 63,240 21.7
Indianapolis mayoral election, 1987[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican William H. Hudnut III (Incumbent) 109,107 66.3
Democratic Brad Senden 38,193 23.2
Indiana Secretary of State, 1990[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joe Hogsett 775,163 51.83%
Republican William H. Hudnut III 719,314 48.10%
No party Write-Ins 971 0.06%

Personal life

Hudnut was married three times. His first marriage was to Anne Goodyear,[20] granddaughter of Anson Conger Goodyear (1877–1964).[21] Before their divorce in 1974,[22] the couple had five children, four sons and a daughter.[23][24][25][26][27][28] On December 14, 1974, he married for a second time to Susan Greer Rice,[29][30] a real estate agent. They divorced in 1988.[31] In 1989, his third and final marriage was to Beverly Guidara (b. 1959),[32] his former press secretary.[31] They had a son.[24][33]

Hudnut was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity.[34]

In March 2015, Hudnut announced that he had congestive heart failure and throat cancer.[15] Hudnut died on December 18, 2016, at the age of 84.[35]


  1. ^ a b c d "HUDNUT, William Herbert, III, (1932 – )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
  2. ^ "Chevy Chase Mayors, Montgomery County, Maryland". msa.maryland.gov.
  3. ^ a b c d e "William Hudnut". Great Lakes Metros and the New Opportunity. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  4. ^ Hudnut, I. I. I. (1954). "Samuel Stanhope Smith: Enlightened Conservative [Princeton]". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Bodenhamer p. 1247
  6. ^ "Rep. Dan Burton – Member of Congress representing Indiana's 5th District" Archived 2013-05-23 at the Wayback Machine, "Library Factfiles", Indianapolis Star, updated 1/2007, retrieved February 25, 2007
  7. ^ Hodapp, Christopher L. (2018). Heritage Endures: Perspectives On 200 Years Of Indiana Freemasonry. Grand Lodge F&AM of Indiana. p. 279. ISBN 978-1513629025.
  8. ^ "Williams H. Hudnut III". Institute for Civic Leadership and Digital Mayoral Archives - University of Indianapolis. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c d e Bodenhamer pp. 718–720
  10. ^ "Press Release, 'Mayor Hudnut Announces Formation of Committee Encouraging NFL Franchise,' December 1981". Bringing the Colts to Indianapolis. University of Indianapolis Digital Mayoral Archives. Retrieved 10 October 2013.
  11. ^ Marot, Michael (Jan 22, 2008). "RCA Dome nears last game". WTHR. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  12. ^ "Electoral College Information". State of Indiana. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  13. ^ "Five living Indianapolis mayors express concern over Religious Freedom Restoration Act". April 1, 2015.
  14. ^ "William Hudnut III". Urban Land Institute. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Tully: Former Mayor Bill Hudnut fights for his life". Indy Star. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  16. ^ "Statistics of the Presidential and Congression Election of November 7, 1972" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. March 15, 1973. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  17. ^ "Statistics of the Congression Election of November 4, 1974" (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. August 1, 1975. Retrieved 7 February 2010.
  18. ^ a b c d Bodenhamer p. 1356
  19. ^ "Election Results". May 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "George F. Goodyear". The Buffalo News. June 14, 2002. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Marriage Licenses" (PDF). Buffalo Courier-Express. June 24, 1960. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  22. ^ "'Lame Duck' to Marry". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 3, 1974. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  23. ^ "CONGRESSMAN WEDS". The Indianapolis Star. December 15, 1974. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  24. ^ a b "Michael Hudnut Obituary". Leppert Mortuary. February 11, 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  25. ^ "Weddings". The Indianapolis Star. April 3, 1983. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  26. ^ "Obituaries". The Indianapolis Star. April 1, 2003. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  27. ^ "Class Notes". Princeton Alumni Weekly. princeton alumni weekly. May 17, 1963: 25. Retrieved 15 August 2016. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  28. ^ "MARRIAGE LICENSES". The Indianapolis Star. May 21, 2000. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  29. ^ "Mayor Hudnut and Family, December 30, 1983, Img. 3, with Susan G. Hudnut, Theodore Hudnut, Laura Hudnut, William Rice, Lesa F. Dietrick". Institute for Civic Leadership and Digital Mayoral Archives. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  30. ^ "Princeton Alumni Weekly". 1 January 1974. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  31. ^ a b "Mayor Gets Divorce". Times Daily. February 11, 1988. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  32. ^ "Indianapolis Mayor Discloses Wife Aborted Abnormal Fetus". Los Angeles Times. Associated Press. 10 August 1991. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  33. ^ "William Hudnut, Mayor Who Transformed Indianapolis, Is Dead at 84". New York Times. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
  34. ^ "Distinguished Alumni". Tau Kappa Epsilon. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  35. ^ "William Hudnut, Mayor Who Transformed Indianapolis, Is Dead at 84". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-18.

Bodenhamer, David J. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-31222-1.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert Bowen
Republican nominee for Secretary of State of Indiana
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana's 11th congressional district

January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1975
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Indianapolis
January 1, 1976 – January 1, 1992
Succeeded by