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Cause Magazine


L of Broadcasting egends


ED BRADLEY Edward R. Bradley, Jr. was a broadcast journalist, best known for 26 years of award- winning work on the CBS News television magazine “60 Minutes.” During his career he also covered the fall of Saigon, was the first black


television correspondent to cover the White House, and anchored his own news broadcast, "CBS Sunday Night with Ed Bradley." He was the recipient of numerous awards, including 19 Emmy Awards, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Association of Black Journalists. Bradley was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 22, 1941. His parents divorced when he was a baby, and his mother, who worked two jobs to make ends meet, raised him. Bradley visited his father, who was in the vending machine busi- ness and owned a restaurant in Detroit, in the summertime. When he was 9, his mother enrolled him in an all-black Catholic boarding school, which had been set up to keep poor children "off the streets." He later attended a historically black school, Cheyney State College in Pennsylvania, graduating in 1964 with a degree in Education. His first job was teaching sixth grade at an Elementary School in Philadelphia. While he was teaching, he also worked at the WDAS studios working for free and later, for minimum wage. He programmed music, read news, and cov- ered basketball games.


His introduction to news reporting came at WDAS during the riots in Philadelphia in the 1960s. In 1967, he landed a full- time job at the CBS-owned New York radio station WCBS. In 1971, he moved to Paris, France. He began working as a stringer for CBS News, covering the Paris Peace Talks. In 1972, he volunteered to be trans- ferred to Saigon to cover the Vietnam War, and he also spent time in Phnom Penh covering the war in Cambodia. It was there that he was injured by a mor- tar round, receiving shrapnel wounds to his back and arm.


In 1974, he moved to Washington, D.C., and covered the Carter campaign in 1976. He then became CBS News' White House correspondent (the first black White House television cor- respondent) until 1978, when he was offered a position on "CBS Reports", where he served as principal correspondent until 1981. In that year, Bradley was invited to join “60 Minutes.” Over the course of his 26 years on “60 Minutes,” he did over 500 stories, covering nearly every possi- ble type of news, from "heavy" seg- ments on war, politics, poverty and corruption, to lighter biographical pieces, or stories on sports, music, and cuisine. Among others, he interviewed Howard Stern, Lawrence Olivier, Timothy McVeigh, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, and Michael Jordan, as well as conducting the first televi- sion interview of Bob Dylan in 20 years. Some of his quirkier moments included playing blackjack with the blind Ray Charles, interviewing a Soviet general in a Russian sauna, and having a practical joke played on him by Muhammad Ali. Bradley's favorite segment on 60 Minutes was when as a 42-year-old correspondent, he interviewed the 64-year-old singer Lena Horne. He later said, "If I arrived at the Pearly gates and Saint Peter said, 'What have you done to deserve entry?' I'd just say, 'Did you see my Lena Horne story??'" On the show, Bradley was also known for his sense of style, and was the first (and thus far, the only) male correspondent to regularly wear an earring on the air. He was married to Haitian-born artist Patricia Blanchet and they enjoyed traveling and spending time together at their homes in New York, East Hampton and Colorado. Bradley was known for loving all kinds of music, but was especially a jazz music enthusiast. He hosted the Peabody Award-winning Jazz at Lincoln Center on National Public Radio for over a decade until just before his death. A big fan of the Neville brothers, Bradley performed occasionally on stage with them, and was known as 'the fifth Neville brother'. Bradley was also friends with singer Jimmy Buffett, and would often per- form onstage with him, under the name "Teddy." Bradley was of limited musical ability and did not have an extensive repertoire, but would usually draw smiles and applause by singing the 1951 classic by Billy Ward and the Dominoes, "Sixty Minute Man."


ED BRADLEY


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