Dr. Richard L. Rudy graduated from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1943, after which he accepted the position of instructor of large animal surgery at the College, followed by small animal surgery in 1947. Due to the small number of veterinary faculty in the 1940s, Dr. Rudy taught many courses in his early career, and developed the first course in radiology at the College in 1945. He also performed a number of surgical “firsts”: cataract removal, glaucoma, and corneal surgeries; repair of PDA, pulmonic stenosis and persistent right aortic arch; thoracic duct ligation; total and subtotal lung lobectomies; and removal of foreign bodies from the esophagus. In the early 1950s, Dr. Rudy was introduced to the Paatsama technique, a revolutionary treatment for cranial cruciate ligament repair in dogs, and traveled throughout the US to teach veterinarians this new technique. In 1957 he was named Professor and Head of the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology. In the 1960s, Dr. Rudy researched and developed skull and mandible surgical techniques. He was Past President of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association and was named "Veterinarian of the Year" in 1980 by the American Animal Hospital Association. He retired from The OSU in 1985, Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Rudy was a member of the organizing committee for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1961. The first meeting of the ACVS was on July 13, 1965 at the AVMA Convention, and Dr. Rudy was selected as one of the 36 charter (founder) members of the ACVS, and also one of the 1st elected officers: President-Elect, thus serving as the second President of the ACVS in 1967, and as Chair of the Board of Regents in 1968. The first annual meeting of the ACVS was February 4, 1966; here the “Blakely Report” was accepted, which was in keeping with the first objective of the ACVS: “General Educational and Training Requirements for Prospective Members”. Dr. Rudy was one of the 3 authors of this report. At the 20th ACVS annual meeting, Dr. Rudy was one of the 3 recipients of the first Distinguished Service Awards by the College.
Dr. Rudy passed away on April 21, 1996, at the age of 74.