View Full Version : Ed Bradley (60 Minutes) RIP

11-09-2006, 01:23 PM
Rest In Peace. I enjoyed his professional broadcast through the years.

CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley has died from leukemia at the age of 65.

11-09-2006, 01:27 PM
Sad news.

11-09-2006, 01:37 PM
:( Sad to hear.

11-09-2006, 01:48 PM
Sorry to hear that. He was probably my favorite on that show.


11-09-2006, 02:04 PM
Wow, that's sad indeed.

11-09-2006, 02:04 PM
A good man who did news the right way.

First (and only???) male news personality who wore an earring on the air.

11-09-2006, 02:28 PM
One of the good ones. My definite favorite on "60 Minutes".

Ed Bradley fact: I remember reading in Rolling Stone that he was a good friend of Hunter S. Thompson's. They both were big pro football fans and spent many Sundays watching games together.

11-10-2006, 11:25 AM
Ed Bradley fact: I remember reading in Rolling Stone that he was a good friend of Hunter S. Thompson's. They both were big pro football fans and spent many Sundays watching games together.

Bradley ran in some pretty radical circles back in the day... Used to party with Jimmy Buffett. :)

11-10-2006, 12:27 PM
Anyone know about what time he died?

I was in a class yesterday around lunch and the prof had us watch one of Bradley's interviews from 5 or 6 years ago as it related to the topic of the discussion/readings. We were completely unaware that Bradley had just passed or was about to.

A bit eerie, to say the least.

Roy Tucker
11-10-2006, 12:39 PM
A consumate professional and a good man. He'll be missed on the airwaves.

I thought he'd been looking gaunt lately but I didn't know he was sick. RIP sir.

11-10-2006, 05:17 PM
Bradley was one of the best. The USA Today had a nice obit on him this morning.


Ed Bradley, the jazz-loving 60 Minutes correspondent whose race and earring set him apart from his more traditional, white colleagues on the top-rated newsmagazine, died Thursday of leukemia at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital, according to CBS News. He was 65.

A man who once described himself as a newsman who could "play all the positions, hit for average and for power," Bradley was perhaps the best-known African-American broadcast journalist in America.

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The 2006-07 season marked Bradley's 26th year on 60 Minutes, where his large body of work has been recognized by every major broadcast journalism award, including 19 News Emmys. And he was recently honored with the Lifetime Achievement award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

"He was one of the most natural broadcasters in the business, with the kind of ability that only Walter Cronkite shares. He was that rare," said Jeff Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes. "As a reporter, he could do anything and everything. He was like a rock."

"Besides being a great journalist, Ed was a remarkable human being, a wonderful colleague, and a loyal friend," said 60 correspondent Steve Kroft, whose office is next to Bradley's. "I always felt Ed's greatest achievement was the way he led his life. He enjoyed it immensely, as did the people who were lucky enough to have shared it with him. It is a devastating loss."

A fitness buff, Bradley told a reporter in 1992 that he exercised on a Stairmaster and bike and did 1,000 abdominal exercises a day. But in May 2003, Bradley underwent heart bypass surgery, and complications dogged him in later years.

There is no doubt that Bradley was one of America's pioneering black journalists, says Howard University communications professor James Rada.

When Bradley was reporting in the 1960s, there weren't many African-American TV correspondents. "Those who were there were often segregated to covering 'race' stories," said Rada. "But Bradley's ability as an investigative journalist qualified him to cover any newsworthy topic — and he did just that."

Rada said Bradley's "knack for drawing us in while still maintaining enough distance, meant that when he did cover a story where race was at issue, you never got the feeling that it was a 'black' story or that he was 'race-ing' the perspective. I think that objectivity lent a great deal of credibility to a topic that — even today — the media still seem to have problems covering."

Bradley had a knack for putting subjects at ease while asking the tough questions. This was visible whether it was hard news or something on the lighter side, such as covering musicians or entertainers. "Even if you saw him laughing with the subject, he would still ask enough difficult questions that you could tell he hadn't signed on to the subject's fan club," Rada said.

Bradley "brought much more to the table than his status as a pioneering African-American broadcast journalist," said Paul Levinson, a Fordham University communications professor. "He had a unique way of eliciting the truth from difficult and complex interview subjects."

An example, Levinson said, was when Bradley interviewed Bob Dylan for 60 Minutes in 2004. "For nearly half a century, journalists have been trying to elicit something clear, or least comprehensible, from Dylan. Bradley somehow managed to get Dylan talking on point, including explaining when he stopped writing songs with the lyrical intensity of his 1960s' works. Bradley was a true muse for conversation."

Bradley, a Philadelphia native, started out as a teacher after graduation with a B.S. in education from Cheyney (Pa.) State College. He taught in the Philadelphia area and was once an interim principal — while also volunteering and working part time at Philly radio station WDAS. There, he spun records by jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Billie Holiday, according to an interview with writer R.J. DeLuke posted at allaboutjazz.com.

Bradley was in Philadelphia when riots broke out during the civil rights era, and began calling in stories about them to the radio station. "I knew I wasn't suited to be a classroom teacher," according to a video interview Bradley gave the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

He arrived early for an interview with Martin Luther King Jr., whom he found in a Philadelphia hotel room in socks and a T-shirt, eating potato salad and collard greens. Before King said a word, Bradley recalled, "I remember being stunned watching this man."

By 1967, he was one of three blacks at WCBS radio in New York; the others were a technician and a janitor. Bradley told Maynard that he was assigned mainly black-related stories until he complained to the assignment editor, "I want to be treated at this station the same way you treat anyone else. If you can't see your way clear to do that, I'll take it up with the news director."

From that point on, his assignments changed.

Bradley joined CBS as a stringer in its Paris bureau in September 1971. A year later, he was transferred to Saigon. He was named a correspondent in April 1973 and shortly thereafter was wounded while on assignment in Cambodia. In March 1975, he volunteered to return to Indochina and covered the fall of Vietnam.

In June 1974 he was assigned to CBS' Washington bureau, where his star rose quickly. He became a White House correspondent, covered Jimmy Carter's 1976 presidential campaign and began a long-running stint as floor correspondent for the Democratic and Republican National Conventions starting in 1976 and running through the 1992 campaigns (except for 1984, when he covered the Democrats only).

He became anchor of CBS Sunday Night News in November 1976 and joined 60 Minutes during the 1981-82 season. During the '90s, when networks produced numerous newsmagazines, he anchored another CBS series, Street Stories. His 1992 prison interview with Mike Tyson drew high ratings.

He told The Christian Science Monitor in 1986 he wrestled with the "intrusiveness" of the media, especially when private people are thrust into the spotlight through tragedy. "You've got four networks, two or three wire services, a half-dozen magazines, plus a hundred local television and radio stations so they can say, 'Our reporter talked to the father of ...' "

Tom Rosenstiel of the Project for Excellence in Journalism said Bradley was "a more important figure in broadcast journalism history than most people probably realize in this day and age, when every local newscast seems to feature a person of color. Bradley was not only on camera working in the pantheon of network TV in the 1970s but he was doing so when few journalists of color were on the networks at all."

Bradley, he said, "also brought a youthful spirit, a hipness, and a kind of caring humanity to his TV reporting that was not in fashion at the time. Morley Safer was funny and wry. Mike Wallace was tough. Harry Reasoner, curious and wise. But Bradley would dash into the surf to help the young Vietnamese victimized by pirates. He wore an earring. He could do rock music. He could also be tough. He walked that line, a line many in TV today are wobbling along for ratings. It seemed very natural for him, very genuine."

Rosenstiel said that "as a young person who aspired to be a journalist, he was a hero to me for these qualities, and it had nothing to do with his color. He was just one hell of a journalist, and seemingly a very human and decent guy. He connected those qualities with journalism to me as a young person on the other end of the TV screen. He was the kind of person who made you want to be that when you grew up. I imagine if you asked you would find a lot of people who feel that way."

Twice divorced, Bradley married artist Patricia Blanchet in 2004.
Posted 11/9/2006 12:24 PM ET

cincinnati chili
11-11-2006, 02:13 PM
Wow. That's a good write-up.

11-13-2006, 09:30 AM
Bradley ran in some pretty radical circles back in the day... Used to party with Jimmy Buffett. :)

60 Minutes had a great tribute to Bradley last night. Evidently, Jimmy Buffett was one of his best friends. In a conversation with Steve Croft he said his wife had called him in Hawaii to tell him he'd better get back. He teared up as he said he was glad he'd gotten back before Ed died.

Favorite scene: Ed Bradley singing "Sixty Minute Man" on stage w/ Buffett and his band.

11-13-2006, 09:33 AM
Yeah, the 60 minutes tribute was great.

Dude hung out with Hunter S. Thompson and Jimmy Buffett.

Very impressive for a successful network correspondant.

11-13-2006, 09:37 AM
60 Minutes was great last night. I loved the scene they showed from the Ali piece.