A devote democrat, he served 11 terms in Congress where he rose to majority whip, which is the number 3 position in the U.S. House. Brademas lost his seat in the 1980 Republican down ballot vote when Ronald Reagan was elected to his first term as president.
A mere two months after leaving office, Brademas became NYU’s 13th president, a position he held from 1981 to 1992.
“At a time when both NYU and the city for which it is named were both still struggling with the challenges of the 1970s,” Brademas was the one who helped start the “upward trajectory” that made NYU the university that it is today, the current NYU President Andrew Hamilton said, according to abcnews.go.com.
Brademas earned the nickname “Mr. Education” in Congress because he was involved in every piece of education legislation in the late 1960s and 1970s, and was an advocate for expanding the federal government’s role in education and increasing government funding for the arts.
Brademas would later use his status as NYU’s respected leader to fight proposals to cut federal education spending by President Reagan throughout the 1980s.