Ed Bradley 1941-2006
Ed Bradley, Veteran CBS Newsman, Dies
By JACQUES STEINBERG
Published: November 9, 2006
Ed Bradley, a pioneering black journalist who was a fixture in American living rooms on Sunday nights for more than a quarter century on “60 Minutes,” died today. He was 65.
Mr. Bradley died at Mt. Sinai Medical Center of complications from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said Dr. Valentin Fuster, his cardiologist and the director of the Cardiovascular Institute at Mt. Sinai. Mr. Bradley, who underwent a quintuple bypass operation on his heart in 2003, was diagnosed with leukemia "many years ago,” Dr. Fuster said, but it had not posed a threat to his life until recently, when he contracted an infection.
His most recent segments on “60 Minutes” had been on Oct. 15 (on the rape case involving Duke University lacrosse players) and on Oct. 29 (an investigation of an oil refinery explosion in Texas). Even many close colleagues had not known that his health had been deteriorating precipitously for several weeks. On the day that last segment was broadcast, he was admitted to Mt. Sinai. He remained there until his death. “This has been a long battle which he fought silently and courageously,” said Charlayne Hunter-Gault of the “News Hour with Jim Lehrer,” who was one of several close friends at Mr. Bradley’s side when he died this morning. “He didn’t want people to know that this was a part of his struggle. He didn’t want people feeling sorry for him. And for a good part of his life, he managed it.”
To generations of television viewers, Mr. Bradley was a sober presence — albeit one who occasionally wore a stud in one ear — whose reporting across four decades ranged from the Vietnam War and Cambodian refugee crisis to the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the Oklahoma City bombing (his was the only television interview with Timothy McVeigh). He won 19 Emmy awards, including one for “lifetime achievement” in 2003.
But Mr. Bradley’s life off camera was often as rich and compelling as the one in the studio. Having begun his broadcast career as a disc jockey in Philadelphia, Mr. Bradley was an enormous fan of many forms of music — particularly jazz and gospel — who counted the musicians Wynton Marsalis, George Wien and Aaron Neville among his many friends and made a regular pilgrimage to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
My favorite Ed Bradley story was done in the early 1990's. He went to the old Soviet nuclear test ranges in Khazakstan. It is a mostly plains and mountains, but when he went to talk to people, the deformed children and aborted babies looked like they had escaped from a movie set, but they were all too real.
It was horrific. But it had been a secret until he went there.
posted by Steve @ 6:57:00 PM