Dr. Larry Bradshaw (’65), longtime Abilene Christian University professor and founding general manager of National Public Radio affiliate KACU-FM, died March 17, 2021, in Abilene, after an extended illness. He was 77.
A visitation with family will be Sunday, March 21 from 2-4 p.m. at Piersall Funeral Directors, (733 Butternut, Abilene, Texas 79602). The family requests that guests wear face masks and observe physical distancing out of respect for others in attendance. A graveside service will take place later in Harper, Kansas.
Born Leonard Lee Bradshaw on May 5, 1943, in Wichita, Kansas, he graduated high school in Harper, Kansas, in 1961. He attended Wichita State University from 1961-63 and earned a bachelor’s degree from ACU in 1965, a master’s in speech communication from the University of Arizona in 1966, and a doctorate from the School of Communication at Southern Illinois University in 1970.
He married Abilene Christian classmate Dr. Gloria Bradshaw (’66) on Aug. 28, 1965.
His long career in broadcasting began by working in news at KMUW-FM in Wichita, Kansas (1961-63), and KWKC-AM and FM in Abilene (1964-65). He was an assistant professor at the University of Tulsa (1968-74), visiting assistant professor at Oral Roberts University (1974-75), associate professor at Eastern New Mexico University (1975-84), and news director and anchor at New Mexico Public Television’s KENW-TV (1977-83).
He joined ACU’s faculty in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication in August 1984, serving as director of JMC’s broadcast division and teaching until his retirement in 2004 as professor emeritus.
Bradshaw was founding general manager of KACU-FM, Abilene Christian’s NPR affiliate, from 1986-91 and 1994-2000. He developed it into a live, nationally accredited, professional lab for radio-TV majors, and an invaluable information and music source for the Abilene community.
He took a leave of absence from 1991-94 to serve as visiting professor at Middle Tennessee State University. He also was general manager of ACU’s low-power station, KUF-LPTV, from 1990-98.
He traveled to England and Scotland during 1987 with Dr. Bill Humble (’48), Dr. Dutch Hoggatt Jr. (’77) and R.L. Roberts Jr. (’47) to gather materials for a documentary film, Light From Above: The Life of Alexander Campbell. He and Hoggatt also traveled to Israel for the project.
Bradshaw authored dozens of scholarly research articles on religious communication, mass communication, broadcast journalism, and cameras in the courtroom. His career also included service as a part-time minister in Herrin, Illinois, and at two congregations in Portales, New Mexico.
He served on ACU’s Centennial Collections Task Force in 2005-06, and was lead videographer of many special events during the university’s 100th school year.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dalton and Marfabelle Bradshaw, and twin brothers William “Bill” Bradshaw and Robert “Bob” Bradshaw. Among survivors are Gloria, his wife of 55 years; and four children: Dr. Alan (’90) and Leah (Farr ’90) Bradshaw of Nashville, Tennessee; Laurie (Bradshaw ’92) Randel of Cedar Park, Texas; and Amber (Bradshaw ’04) Leach of Pflugerville, Texas. He and Gloria also have six grandchildren: Zachary and Marisa Bradshaw, Katherine Hollenbeck, Lindsay Bradshaw, Morgan Randel and Marlee Randel.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests those wishing to honor his life do so through memorials to FaithWorks of Abilene, Encompass Hospice Care, Minter Lane Church of Christ or ACU JMC (ACU Box 29132, Abilene, Texas 79699-9132, bit.ly/LarryBradshaw).
– Ron Hadfield
Mar. 19, 2021