Ed Bradley

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Ed Bradley (June 22, 1941 – November 9, 2006) was an American journalist who began reporting for CBS News in 1967.


  • And I always found that the harder I worked, the better my luck was, because I was prepared for that.
  • And I realized that there was no sports reporter, so I started covering sporting events.
  • At that point I was FM program director and I was doing a five- or six-hour music show, so I wasn't really doing news anymore.
  • Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have.
  • Because when it gets to the point where it's not fun anymore, I've always hoped that I would have the courage to say goodbye and walk away from it.
  • But you know, I always said that no one else on my block was on the radio, and it was fun.
  • I always felt more emotionally attached to Cambodia than I did to Vietnam.
  • I came to WCBS in 1967.
  • I did anything that would get me on the air.
  • I got some shrapnel in my back and it blew a hole through my arm. It just sliced through my arm, so I was lucky. I was lucky.
  • I grew up in a single-parent home, raised by my mother, but I spent time with my father who lived in another city.
  • I guess it was over a year that I worked for no pay and when they did start paying me, I think I made about a dollar.
  • I had a lot of fun in Cambodia, much more so in Cambodia than Vietnam.
  • I had had no training as a journalist and I used to listen to the CBS News hourly reports. That was my classroom.
  • I had never been out covering a story, but boy, was that fun.
  • I had no experience with broadcasting basketball games, so I took a tape recorder and went to a playground where there was a summer league, and I stood up in the top of the stands and I called the game.
  • I knew that God put me on this earth to be on the radio.
  • I made the decision to come back to New York, quit my job and move to Paris.
  • I ran out of money in Paris. Fortunately, about the same time I ran out of money, CBS offered me a job as a stringer.
  • I remember Walter going through some of the astronaut training in the early days of the space program. I remember Walter with Dwight Eisenhower after his presidency. Walter always went somewhere and did something. He wasn't just sitting at a desk, so in that sense, Walter was someone I looked up to.
  • I stayed three weeks in Paris, fell in love with the city, and decided that I was born to live in Paris.
  • I taught sixth grade for three and a half years.
  • I went to Paris simply on vacation.
  • I will not go into a story unprepared. I will do my homework, and that's something I learned at an early age.
  • I worked to save up enough money to pay off my bills and have enough money to live for a little while, and then I moved to Paris.
  • I would listen to how they told the story, to what elements they used, to how it sounded, and that's who I patterned myself after, the people who were on CBS News.
  • I'd watch my father get up at 5 o'clock and go down to the Eastern Market in Detroit to do the shopping for his restaurant, and get that business going and then go out on his vending machine business.
  • It got me into the games for free, and it got me on the air reporting on the games, the fights, things like that.
  • My mother worked in factories, worked as a domestic, worked in a restaurant, always had a second job.
  • My uncle was a hero, Lewis Roundtree. He was not even related to me really, but he was always called my uncle. He was like a father to me. I was closer to him than I was my father.
  • Probably my mother. She was a very compassionate woman, and always kept me on my feet. And I think part of it is just the way you are, the way you're raised. And she had the responsibility for raising me.
  • Professionally, I remember Cronkite as a kid growing up, and more so for me, the importance of Cronkite was not him sitting there at the anchor desk, but him out there doing things.
  • So I heard this reporter talking about a riot that was going on and I realized that he was a Philadelphia reporter.
  • So I just got on the phone and the engineer just patched me in and I did reports. I'd get a community leader and bring him to the phone, call up the station and do an interview over the phone with the guy.
  • That's when I hit the ground. So in the instant that that round landed and blew me in the air, I had those separate and distinct thoughts. The guy who was standing right next to where I had been standing had a hole in his back I could put my fist into.
  • The only thing I'd ever done with news was to read copy sitting at the microphone in the studio.
  • The Paris peace talks kept a roof over my head and food on the table and clothes on my back because if something was said going in or coming out, I had the rent for the month.
  • The people in your life are important. Meaningful relationships with those people are very important.
  • Then I learned how to do wraparounds and things like that. I had no experience.
  • There was no one around me who didn't work hard.
  • Yeah, there's a lot of room for improvement. I'd like to see more minority executives. I'd like to see more opportunity for minorities off the air as well as on the air because that's where a lot of the decisions are made. I'm always looking for producers and associate producers.
  • You can work hard to sharpen your talent, to get better at whatever it is that you do, and I think that's what it comes back to.
  • You know, I had heroes in my life who people outside of my life have never heard of.
  • You know, I think I still have a sense that no matter what you do, no matter what you achieve, no matter how much success you have, no matter how much money you have, relationships are important.

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