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Tributes To Trailblazer Ed Bradley

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  • Robert Sterling
    Please send as far and wide as possible. Thanks, Robert Sterling Editor, The Konformist http://www.konformist.com The Konformist salutes the late, great Ed
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 13, 2006
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      Please send as far and wide as possible.

      Robert Sterling
      Editor, The Konformist

      The Konformist salutes the late, great Ed Bradley, undisputedly the
      classiest, fairest, and most thoughtful member of the 60 Minutes
      bunch. While 60 Minutes often proclaimed it was the vanguard of
      mainstream journalism, Bradley was the only one who consistently
      lived up to it...

      Tributes To Trailblazer Ed Bradley
      NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2006
      (CBS) From dignitaries to average television viewers, tributes
      poured in for Ed Bradley, the veteran 60 Minutes correspondent who
      died Thursday in New York at the age of 65.

      At the White House, President Bush said he and first lady Laura Bush
      were "deeply saddened by the death of Ed Bradley." Mr. Bush
      remembered Bradley for producing "distinctive investigative reports
      that inspired action and cemented his reputation as one of the most
      accomplished journalists of our time."

      At CBS News, where Bradley spent 35 years, including 26 with 60
      Minutes, friends and colleagues offered their remembrances.

      Bradley was "a kind, gentle, strong man. A first-rate reporter and a
      first-rate human being," said fellow 60 Minutes correspondent Mike
      Wallace. "When he laughed, he laughed whole-heartedly from down
      deep. He was just an absolutely delightful man."

      CBS News chief Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer said
      Bradley "was simply the coolest person I have ever known. He was a
      great observer of the American scene with a shrewd eye and a
      terrific sense of humor. And let me tell you, no one ever put one
      over on Ed Bradley."

      Bradley died at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan of complications
      from chronic lymphatic leukemia.

      His consummate skills as a broadcast journalist and his distinctive
      body of work were recognized with numerous awards, including 19
      Emmys, the latest for a segment that reported the reopening of the
      50-year-old racial murder case of Emmett Till.

      As one of the most visible black journalists on television, Bradley
      broke down racial barriers and became a role model for young African

      "The pressure is there," Bradley said. "It's been there every day of
      my life."

      Bradley was honored with the Lifetime Achievement award from the
      National Association of Black Journalists. Three of his Emmys came
      at the 2003 awards: a Lifetime Achievement Emmy; one for a 60
      Minutes report on brain cancer patients, "A New Lease on Life;" and
      another for an hour-long piece about sexual abuse in the Catholic
      Church, "The Catholic Church on Trial."

      Viewers who watched Bradley's reports over the years shared their
      thoughts on CBSNews.com.

      "My wife and I wept at the news of Ed Bradley's passing. She
      said, 'He came into our home every Sunday with something important
      to say'. He did indeed. I don't write these types of 'fan letters'
      but Bradley was extraordinary," said RJGATOR.

      "Ed Bradley will be sorely missed in our household and by countless
      admirers," said joycenbill. "His ability to give us the heart and
      soul of the people or stories he reported upon was extraordinarily

      And jtmjc wrote: "We loved Ed Bradley here in New Orleans, he was
      here in town this past Jazz fest in May, and he got on stage with
      Irma Thomas and watched behind the stage as Lionel Richie performed
      his set. … We will miss his COOLNESS."

      Ed Bradley was born June 22, 1941 in a rough section of
      Philadelphia, where he once recalled that his parents sometimes
      worked 20-hour days at two jobs apiece.

      "I was told, 'You can be anything you want, kid,'" he once told an
      interviewer. "When you hear that often enough, you believe it."

      After graduating from Cheney State College with a degree in
      education, he launched his career as a DJ and news reporter for a
      Philadelphia radio station in 1963, moving to New York's WCBS radio
      four years later.

      Bradley's first job out of college was as a sixth-grade teacher.

      He joined CBS News as a stringer in the Paris bureau in 1971,
      transferring a year later to the Saigon bureau during the Vietnam
      War. It was the story that put him on the map and almost killed him,
      Stahl reports.

      As Bradley explained in one interview: "People were moved from Viet
      Cong areas into towns controlled by the government. And all of a
      sudden I heard this terrific noise ... if I had not moved to sit on
      the side, I would have been dead."

      After reporting in Cambodia, Bradley moved to the Washington bureau
      in June 1974, 14 months after he was named a correspondent.

      Other hour-long reports by Bradley prompted praise and
      action: "Death by Denial" won a Peabody Award for focusing on the
      plight of Africans dying of AIDS and helped convince drug companies
      to donate and discount AIDS drugs; "Unsafe Haven" spurred federal
      investigations into the nation's largest chain of psychiatric
      hospitals; and "Town Under Siege," about a small town battling toxic
      waste, was named one of the Ten Best Television Programs of 1997 by
      Time magazine.

      Bradley's significant contribution to electronic journalism was also
      recognized by the Radio/Television News Directors Association when
      it named him its Paul White Award winner for 2000, joining
      distinguished journalists such as Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite
      and Peter Jennings as a Paul White recipient.

      More recently, the Denver Press Club awarded him its 2003 Damon
      Runyon Award for career journalistic excellence. Bradley also
      received the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards grand
      prize and television first prize for "CBS Reports: In the Killing
      Fields of America," a documentary about violence in America, for
      which he was co-anchor and reporter.

      Bradley's work on 60 Minutes gained him much recognition, including
      a George Foster Peabody Award for "Big Man, Big Voice," the
      uplifting story of a German singer who became successful despite
      birth defects. In 1995, he won his 11th Emmy for a 60 Minutes
      segment on the cruel effects of nuclear testing in the town of
      Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan — a report that also won him an Alfred I.
      duPont-Columbia University Award in 1994.

      In 1983, two of Bradley's reports for 60 Minutes won Emmy
      Awards: "In the Belly of the Beast," an interview with Jack Henry
      Abbott, a convicted murderer and author, and "Lena," a profile of
      singer Lena Horne. He received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia
      University Silver Baton and a 1991 Emmy Award for his report "Made
      in China," a look at Chinese forced-labor camps, and another Emmy in
      1992 for "Caitlin's Story," an examination of the controversy
      between the parents of a deaf child and a deaf association.

      In addition to "In the Killing Fields," his work for "CBS Reports"
      included: "Enter the Jury Room," an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia
      University Award winner that revealed the jury deliberation process
      for the first time in front of network cameras. A series of stories
      from 1979 were award winners, including: "The Boat People," which
      won duPont, Emmy and Overseas Press Club Awards; "The Boston Goes to
      China," a report on the historic visit to China by the Boston
      Symphony Orchestra, which won Emmy, Peabody and Ohio State Awards,
      and "Blacks in America: With All Deliberate Speed?," which won Emmy
      and duPont Awards.

      Bradley's coverage of the plight of Cambodian refugees, broadcast on
      the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite and CBS News Sunday
      Morning, won a George Polk Award in journalism.

      He also received a duPont citation for a segment on the Cambodian
      situation broadcast on CBS News' "Magazine" series. He covered the
      presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter during 1976, served as a floor
      correspondent for CBS News' coverage of the Democratic and
      Republican National Conventions from 1976 through 1996, and has
      participated in CBS News' election-night coverage.

      Prior to joining 60 Minutes, Bradley was a principal correspondent
      for "CBS Reports" from 1978 to 1981, after serving as CBS News'
      White House correspondent from 1976 to 1978. He was also anchor of
      the "CBS Sunday Night News" from 1976 to 1981 and of the CBS News
      magazine "Street Stories" from January 1992 to August 1993.

      A lifelong fan of jazz, Bradley took on a side gig in recent years
      as radio host for "Jazz at Lincoln Center," for which he won one of
      his four Peabody awards.

      Bradley joined CBS News as a stringer in its Paris bureau in
      September 1971. A year later, he was transferred to the Saigon
      bureau, where he remained until he was assigned to CBS News'
      Washington bureau in June 1974. He was named a CBS News
      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 Cambodia and Vietnam.

      What was Bradley's secret to getting such renowned stories?
      Schieffer said it was all in his style.

      "Ed knew everyone from Jimmy Carter to Jimmy Buffett. He made people
      comfortable. He wasn't the bulldog type reporter like Mike Wallace,"
      Schieffer said. "He set people at ease and got them to talk.
      Sometimes that was in their interest and sometimes it wasn't. But he
      was like Columbo, who had that disarming style and the knack of
      getting that last answer out of someone."

      60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft said: "I think the thing that
      made him terrific was his presence. There was a dignity about him...
      a perfect mix of style and substance."

      Bradley is survived by his wife, Patricia Blanchet.
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