Decorated Veteran and Artist Pass Away at 84

Bob Snead, an art educator and decorated war veteran who told the stories of Black soldiers of the frontier, died last week. He was 84.

Bob SneadBob Snead

Snead retired in El Paso, Texas after a 30-year career as a military aviator. He received three Purple Hearts during the Vietnam War, among other military decorations. He starred in a touring one-man play called “Held in Trust: The Story of Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper,” about the life, mistreatment and ultimate redemption of the first Black man to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The one-man show was broadcast by PBS in 1996, featuring an introduction by Gen. Colin Powell.

An impassioned advocate for Texas arts and arts education across the state, Snead was appointed by former Gov. George W. Bush to the Texas Commission on the Arts and as the designated artist on the committee to design the Texas State Quarter. He served as an artist-in-residence for the African American Studies program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

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