November 22, 2006 by

Ed Bradley


Categories: Writers/Editors

ebradley.jpgEdward Rudolph Bradley, Jr., an Emmy Award-winning journalist who appeared on the CBS news program “60 Minutes” for more than a quarter century, died on Nov. 9 from chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was 65.
Born in Philadelphia, Bradley earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Cheyney State College and taught sixth grade for three-and-a-half years. He developed an interest in radio after meeting Philly disc jockey Georgie Woods at a lecture. Bradley took a tour of Woods’ station and became infatuated with the medium.
Bradley launched his journalism career in 1963 as a news reporter for WDAS-FM. Four years later, he landed a job at WCBS-AM in New York City. In the 1970s, Bradley became a stringer for CBS News, working out of the Paris and Saigon bureaus. He was a shoe-leather journalist, covering the end of the Vietnam War and the Cambodian refugee crisis from the ground. During one report in 1973, Bradley was wounded in the arm and in the back by shrapnel. The soldier standing next to him died in the attack.
Bradley then returned to the United States to cover Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign. His reports were so outstanding that CBS promoted him to White House correspondent, making him the first black reporter to cover a sitting president for the network. He later served as a floor correspondent at almost every Democratic and Republican national convention between 1976 and 1996, and anchored both the “CBS Sunday Night News” (1976-1981) and the CBS News magazine show “Street Stories” (1992-1993).
Bradley joined “60 Minutes” during the 1981-82 season. Over the next 25 years, the trailblazing journalist covered the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, reported on the Columbine High School massacre, examined nuclear testing in one Kazakhstan town and revealed the plight of Africans dying of AIDS. His piece, “Town Under Siege,” about a small town battling toxic waste, was named one of the 10 Best Television Programs of 1997 by Time magazine.
During his tenure at “60 Minutes,” Bradley earned a reputation for his noncombative interview style. His intelligent grasp of world events and charming demeanor made his subjects feel comfortable enough to share their innermost thoughts. Comedian George Burns took Bradley to the crypt where his wife, actress Gracie Allen, was interred. Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali played a practical joke on Bradley, which left both of them in stitches. Condemned Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh gave his only televised interview to Bradley, and used the Q&A session to described his bitterness over fighting in the Gulf War. Bradley’s favorite interview, however, involved a legendary jazz singer.
“When I get to the Pearly Gates and St. Peter asks what have I done to gain entry, I’ll say, ‘Have you seen my Lena Horne interview?'” Bradley once said.
For excellence in reporting, Bradley received 19 Emmy Awards. His final Emmy honored a piece about the reopening of the 50-year-old racial murder case of a young black boy named Emmett Till. Bradley also won four Peabody Awards, a Paul White Award, a Damon Runyon Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Off-camera, Bradley was a die-hard jazzman. He frequently attended the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and was called the “fifth Neville brother” for his repeat performances with that family of musicians. In recent years, he hosted the radio show “Jazz at Lincoln Center.”
Nearly 2,000 people attended Bradley’s memorial service on Nov. 21 in New York City. There he was remembered by his “60 Minutes” colleagues as well as retired news anchors Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. Former President Bill Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern, comedian Bill Cosby and musicians Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon, Aaron Neville and Wynton Marsalis also attended the service.
Watch Bradley Discuss His War Experiences
Watch Members of the “60 Minutes” Cast Share Stories About Bradley
Listen to a Tribute From NPR

2 Responses to Ed Bradley

  1. angelamckinley3431

    Mr bradly will be missed a great deal.I enjoiyed watching 60 minutes just to see who he
    would interview. Rest in pease mr bradly I will
    miss you dearly.

  2. Simeko Revador

    CBS Sixty Mintues News was not the same
    For their lacking someone’s name
    Emmy Award Winning journalist, Mr. Ed Bradley
    Gone, departed, many grieved sadley
    Long time lover of jazz, has it come to past?
    Not long as there is Billie, Ella, and Satchmo
    They’ll make it last, it’ll be heaven’s jazz
    Your demeanor was so debonair
    Oh yeah, let’s not forget that sexy, sassy pierced ear
    Under attack, wounded in the arm and back
    Yet you made your way back to USA
    To cover President Carter’s Campaign
    Under the circumstances, you could have easily refrain
    Such an outstanding job you did, CBS thought so too
    They reserved the White House Correspondent position just for you
    I hope your journey is one that glides with angels on your side
    And upon arrival you won’t have to wait
    For Saint Peter is standing at the Pearly Gates
    For I know that angels don’t die
    They take wings and fly, as you did dear one
    Author: Simeko Revador
    Books: God Is Just A Prayer Away
    Don’t Drive Your Mama Away
    Upcoming: Mommy, Daddy Touched Me, Shhhh

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