Rudi R. Rodriguez is a businessman and community leader whose passion for Texas history has led him on a fascinating journey for over twenty-five years. Throughout his life, Rudi has had an interest in the lives of his ranching ancestors and this has lead to him documenting the lives of the state's first settlers. As a result, Rudi created TexasTejano.com eight years ago. He designed the company to serve as a research and publishing vehicle in which to tell the true stories of the lives and legacies of Tejanos. As a result, Rudi has created one of the first Tejano archives consisting of over one thousand maps, photos, documents and over 2,000 artifacts.
To date, Rudi has authored “A Tejano Son of Texas” Autobiography which is one of the first ever Tejano Autobiographies that gives people a look at the lives of Tejanos. He also authored “A Tejano Son of Texas” Record Book which gives readers a first ever look at official baptisms, marriage, military and religious records, documents and photos of Tejanos in Texas and helps to tell the story of Texas. He also authored “A Tejano Son of Texas” Booklet Series which was created to give younger readers the opportunity to learn about Tejanos and the origins of Texas. These publications in combination with other materials lead to developing a supplemental Texas history Teacher’s Kit for fourth and seventh grade students. Together, thousands of publications have been circulated in schools, museums and other institutions. In 2011, a powerful Tejano Biography series will be published on six leading Tejanos from the 1835-1836 Texas Revolution.
Also, Rudi co-authored an engaging interactive website, TexasTejano.com, which has had over 1,000,000 visits and provides students with a way to learn about Tejanos and provides the public with a way to learn more about their heritage. It also acts as a media and outreach vehicle to local, state, national and international audiences. Rudi founded the TSHA Hispanic Heritage Student Awards, now in their second year.
Further, Rudi wrote and produced the “Texas Tejanos: A Revolution Remembered: 1835-1836” Stage Play which helps to define the role Tejanos played during the 1835-1836 Texas Revolution. Additionally, Rudi wrote and produced an educational documentary entitled “A Tejano Son of Texas” which chronicles the life and times of J.P. “Polly” Rodriguez. This documentary has aired on Time Warner throughout the years and is screened in schools across Texas. It has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
Under Rudi’s direction, Texas Tejano.com has created a first ever Tejano archive of photos, images and portraits in order to create forensics based images. The resulting “Tejano Historical Portrait Series” serves to give a face to Tejanos. This exhibit has been seen by over 1 million people to date. He also created the “A Tejano Son of Texas” exhibit which includes maps, documents and photos that help identify the role Tejanos played on the Texas frontier. This exhibit has been seen by over one and a half million people to date. Later, Rudi created a second exhibit, “Tejanos in Texas Heritage” exhibit that also consists of eight freestanding panels. This exhibit gives a descriptive view of the history of Texas beginning in 1690. This exhibit has been seen by over 1 million people to date.
Also, Rudi provided the public leadership to declare September as official Tejano Heritage Month by Governor Rick Perry. The Month consists of events, activities, contests and symposiums across the state of Texas. Rudi has lectured and presented to over 200,000 individuals and people in schools, universities and various institutions across the state.
Lastly, Rudi helped publicly found the new Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas (501.c.3) in 2008 and has continued to champion Tejano Heritage & Legacy through the development of the Center. The Center will consist of a collection of a Hispanic multinational museum, a world-class research library and data center and a Tejano Living History Heritage Village. The proposed location for the Center is HemisFair Park, San Antonio, Texas. For more info, visit hispanicheritagecenteroftexas.org.