J.F. Rutherford took the lead among Jehovah's Witnesses until his death in 1942.
This is a true statement, but does understate matters.
Rutherford was the autocratic ruler of the Jehovah's Witnesses. He had the final say on everything. The Societies committees only provided a rubber stamp approval on matters which were decided upon by Rutherford.
It has been said that the reason the San Diego home "Beth Sarim" was built was to get Rutherford away from Brooklyn to keep him from meddling.
While most articles published by the Watchtower were anonymous, Rutherford's books always listed him as the author.
While he was alive, the Watchtower reffered to him as "Judge Rutherford" using the title freely in articles and advertising public appearences by Rutherford. Recent WT publications do not use the title, or say Rutherford was "affectionately" called "The Judge" (This is because Rutherford only filled in for about 4 days when a Circuit Judge was out of town"
Rutherford intimidated the witnesses and those at Bethel, this is even alluded to in some experiences with Rutherford published in the Watchtower.
So, while the statement is accurate, it does leave a lot unsaid.