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Good Night and Good Luck Ed Bradley

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Beloved 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley passed away today due to complications from leukemia; he was 65 years old. The news was announced on air by CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric who described Bradley as, "smooth, cool, a great reporter, beloved and respected by all of his colleagues here at CBS News."

Bradley had spent 26 years as one of the five primary correspondents on the veritable news magazine show. Bradley was well known for his aggressive, yet relaxed interview style; his interview subjects famously included Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Muhammad Ali and Timothy McVeigh.

He started at CBS in 1973 reporting Vietnam and Cambodia before going on to cover the Carter administration in 1976, becoming the first African-American reporter to cover the White House. Bradley won 19 Emmys in his career, the latest for a segment about the reopening of the 50-year-old racial murder case of Emmett Till. In 2003, he won three Emmys: one for lifetime achievement, another for a 60 Minutes report on brain cancer patients, and a third for his special hour coverage of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. He had also recently been honored with the Lifetime Achievement award from the National Association of Black Journalists.

In statements to the press following his death colleagues remember Bradley as a field reporter that didn’t like being tied to a desk. “He was somebody who liked being out there on the story,” said Washington Post media reporter Howard Kurtz. “Whether it was in the Vietnam War or whether it was doing investigative work or bringing alive the plight of families who were dealing with illnesses or violence or other issues he covered."

Speaking to Fox News, Bradley’s 60 Minutes colleague Mike Wallace, who semi-retired from the program last May, called him "a man of gentleness and man of strength, a man of integrity. Bradley was a complete reporter and a reporter's reporter. He covered the world, really."

According to Lesley Stahl, another 60 Minutes reporter, many did not know the full extent of Bradley’s illness. She went on to say that Bradley’s leukemia had been in remission till about ten days ago when it, "came back with a vengeance." She also said that people around the CBS newsroom were “not only surprised but completely devastated."

Tonight on CNN’s Larry King Live will be Remembering Ed Bradley with Mike Wallace, Bob Schieffer, Andy Rooney and Don Hewitt, among others. Bradley is survived by his wife Patricia Blanchet.

Sources: CNN, CBS, Washington Post, Fox News and Reuters.

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