Ed Bradley exemplified cool. From his love of jazz music to the buttery _” smooth way he interviewed subjects for 60 Minutes. The newsman rose from poverty in South Philadelphia to prominence among his peers and the Black community.
Bradley was born in South Philadelphia in 1941. While he lived primarily with his mother,but he spent many summers with his father, who lived in Detroit. His mother worked two jobs to make ends meet and to be able to send her son to St. Thomas More high school. From there, Bradley attended Cheyney State College in Cheyney, Pa. He received a degree in education in 1964 and taught sixth grade until 1967 when destiny came calling.
Bradley began his journalism career in 1967 working for WCBS in New York. There he remained until moving to Paris. He eventually went to work for CBS and was sent to Saigon to cover the war in Vietnam. After his stint in Saigon, he transferred to Cambodia to cover the war there. A mortar round injured him, with shrapnel being lodged in his back and arm.
After the war, CBS made history by making Bradley the first Black White House correspondent for a major network. In 1978, Bradley became the principal correspondent for CBS Reports. In 1981 Bradley joined the staff of 60 Minutes, where he worked until his passing.
For his work in radio and television, Bradley received 19 Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and a Paul White Award.
With all of his achievements in journalism, Bradley still found time to indulge in his other passion, jazz music. Bradley started out playing jazz records on Philadelphia radio as a side job before moving on to the news. He was a long time fan of the Neville Brothers, and performed with them on more than one occasion.
Bradley died after complications involving Leukemia, which he had for years. His wife, Patricia Blanchet, survives him.
Bradley was the epitome of cool, but he also exhibited great emotion in his reporting.