Sherard worked on the AGM-28 Hound Dog, one of the world’s first cruise missiles, as well as an experimental nuclear-powered jet aircraft, which was scrapped as unsafe and impractical. He finished his career developing the B-2 stealth bomber.
Over the years, Sherard rubbed elbows with luminaries such as fellow physicist Albert Einstein. Sherard played host to Einstein twice at speaking engagements at Howard University.
“He was quite a down-to-earth person,” Sherard said. “His accent was severely German. It was guttural and he was difficult to understand. One thing that impressed me, though. He was very interested in helping minority people get an opportunity in technical fields. This impressed me quite a bit.”
During a chance encounter in Philadelphia, Sherard struck up a lifelong friendship with Tom Bradley, who would become the first African American mayor of Los Angeles.
“I and his other friends encouraged him to run. The first time, he lost. The second time, he won by a landslide and he was reelected quite a few more times,” Sherard said.
Interviewer Thomas said Sherard’s career success is a tribute to his strong character in the face of adversity.
“I think he had a quiet, dogged determination. You had to in an era like that,” she said.
But Sherard said his experiences never made him bitter. Quite the contrary, he said.
“My life has been really enjoyable,” Sherard said. “I have no regrets.”