Television Newscasters

What black television journalist became well-known for his work on 60 Minutes?

Ed (Edward R.) Bradley (1941–2006) became the first black co-editor of 60 Minutes, a CBS television network weekly news program, in 1981. He replaced Dan Rather in 1980, but his first story aired in 1981. His previous assignments included serving as principal correspondent for CBS Reports, CBS News White House correspondent, anchor of the CBS Sunday Night News, and writing reports shown on CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. The Pennsylvania native graduated from Cheyney State College (now University). Bradley’s first job after his 1964 college graduation was teaching sixth grade in Philadelphia. He had become a friend of a Philadelphia radio disc jockey while in college and continued to visit him at the station and to work as a volunteer jazz disc jockey and sometimes newscaster. After he personally covered the breaking story of a riot in Philadelphia, he accepted a paying job with the station in 1965. Bradley taught school by day and did his station work, which included music, news, and sports reporting, by night. His first CBS job came when he was hired at New York’s WCBS Radio, an all-news station, in 1967. The stress of this job led him to move to Paris to live a less constrained and more artistic life, but his money soon ran out. CBS was able to lure him back in 1971 as a stringer for the Paris bureau. This was part-time work with payment by the story, and Bradley went back to work full-time as a CBS war correspondent. He was wounded while covering Vietnam and Cambodia and returned to the United States after the fall of Saigon, where his first assignment was coverage of Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign; he was assigned to cover the White House after the election. He remained a fixture at CBS. He had additional CBS assignments other than 60 Minutes while on that program, but it is 60 Minutes that made him a familiar and respected face on the television screen. Bradley earned an Emmy in 1981 for his interview of actress Lena Horne. Altogether, he earned eleven Emmys and numerous other awards.


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