Kent Waldrep, Athlete Whose Injury Led to Advocacy, Dies at 67
Robert L. Burgdorf, Jr., a disability rights specialist who served as counsel for the council, recalled how Mr. Waldrep helped review and propose changes to the draft of what became the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In an email, he said it was Mr. Waldrep who called the legislation in the 1985 memorandum in which he suggested that “all-new laws be consolidated under one heading, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1986.”
“Thus,” Mr. Waldrep wrote, “I feel that the recommended legislative changes can be implemented much more effectively.”
Alvis Kent Waldrep Jr. was born on March 2, 1954, in Austin, Texas. His father was a banker. His mother was a housewife and later worked at an aircraft repair station owned by her husband.
Kent was an all-county and district running back in high school in Alvin, Texas, and received a scholarship from TCU. He was a reserve in 1973, and although he started the first game of the 1974 season, he had just recovered. from a bruised sternum to the Horned Frogs traveling to Birmingham to play in Alabama.
For years after the game, he thought about what he could do to avoid injury.
“I used to think: why didn’t I cut the inside before?” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1989. “Why didn’t I flip the field?” He added: “It’s impossible to rationalize. You can go completely crazy if you dwell on it.”
He founded the Kent Waldrep National Palsy Foundation in 1985, and in 1994 he and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas created the Kent Waldrep Foundation Center for Basic Nerve Growth and Regeneration Research. It. Waldrep’s foundation, mostly from the annual formal-style dinner.