Born: Jan. 20, 1883
Died: Feb. 16, 1977
Known for: Often called "the father of McClellan Air Force Base," Arthur S. Dudley, as secretary-manager of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce for 23 years, was instrumental in establishing McClellan Field and reactivating Mather Field.
Background: A native of West Salem, Wis., Dudley in 1920 was hired by the local chamber. In 1932, the Army closed Mather Field despite his campaign to keep it open. Dudley testified several times before congressional committees on bills that affected Sacramento and the West Coast. On June 22, 1936, President Roosevelt signed a bill that paved the way for six bases to be built, including the Sacramento Air Depot. In 1941, the Army Air Corps reopened Mather as a flight training school and enlarged it by several thousand acres.
A highlight: With a one-time population of 24,000 workers and residents, McClellan was a critical link in the nation's defense from World War II through the Persian Gulf War. An elementary school is named for Dudley in the Antelope area of Sacramento.
In History's Spotlight profiles of Sacramento newsmakers were published originally in 2007 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of The Sacramento Bee. They were written by Anthony Sorci. Look for them every Sunday in Sac History Happenings.