The Commonwealth Comment

Friday, November 10, 2006

Journalism Loses a Dear Friend

Yesterday Ed Bradley, long time CBS "60 Minutes" journalist lost his private battle with leukemia. He was 65 years old.

Bradley broke down racial barriers in broadcast journalism by serving as CBS's first African-American White House and "60 Minutes" correspondent. The 2005-2006 season of "60 Minutes" marked his 25th years with the popular, long running news magazine program. He joined the show in 1981 when Dan Rather left to replace Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News.

Over the years on "60 Minutes" he interviewed a great variety of people including: singer Liza Minnelli to Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. He took his work very seriously and received several awards for his journalism. He owns 20 Emmy Awards, and 4 Peabody Awards among many others.

"One of the great talents he had, both as a journalist and a TV personality, was that he was able to do a serious journalistic job . . . while insisting on being just who he was," said said Alex S. Jones, director of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University (The Boston Globe). Bradley even pierced his left ear in 1986 and wore his gold earring ever since.

devastated, his colleagues fondly remember their fellow journalist, but more importantly their friend. "When you think of the overall body of work he did, it's hard to imagine anybody could ever duplicate that. You don't replace a man like Ed Bradley at any news organization. He is a legend, and we're going to miss his work. But, I think just as important, we're going to miss Ed Bradley the man," said the President of CBS News, Sean McManus.

"When he laughed, he laughed whole-heartedly from down deep. He was just an absolutely delightful man," Mike Wallace described.

"Ed was a great person to be a around who never forgot where he came from. He was a great helper to African-American journalists. He was also the softest touch in town. He wasn't into the celebrity charity thing, but he helped a whole lot of people over the years who really needed it," remembered Bob Shieffer, host of "Face the Nation".

My Opinion: I'll let Ed's work and legacy speak for itself.


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