He was the eleventh of twelve children born to Eliza and Robert Rudd. Sometime before 1876 the ambitious Rudd moved to Springfield, Ohio, where he completed his education. As a member of St. Raphael Parish, he worked to help desegregate Springfield's schools.
In 1885 Rudd founded The Ohio State Tribune. The fledgling, weekly race paper did not do well, however. In 1886 Rudd changed the name of the paper to the American Catholic Tribune. With a new name and editorial focus Rudd moved the newspaper to Cincinnati. By 1892, the newspaper was printing ten thousand copies. His successes led the Afro-American Press League (a consortium of the roughly two hundred black newspapers being published in the country at the time) to ask Rudd to serve as its president. The enterprising Rudd served in this capacity even as he worked to keep his Queen City printing business and printing school afloat. Rudd was the founder of Colored Catholic Congress movement which held its first meeting in Washington, D.C. in 1889. Rudd's organization (The National Black Catholic Congress) meets every five years. After the collapse of Rudd's newspaper he left for the South. He worked in Bolivar County, Mississippi, as a lumber mill manager. Eventually he went to work for Scott Bond Arkansas's first black millionaire. In 1917 he co-authored Bond's biography "From Slavery to Wealth..."
- Agee, Gary. "A Cry for Justice: Daniel Rudd and his Life in Black Catholicism, Journalism and Activism, 1854-1933." Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2011.
- Agee, Gary. "Daniel Rudd: Calling a Church to Justice." Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2017.
- Davis, Cyprian. "The History of Black Catholics in the United States." New York: Crossroads Publication Co., 1990.
- Rudd, Daniel. Three Catholic Afro-American Congresses.(New York: Arno Press, Inc., 1978)
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