Michael Eric Dyson’s Black History Month All Stars

All Star #12: Ed Bradley

Over the last several years in Philadelphia, we have witnessed the erection of the first monument to a Black man in our city, abolitionist Octavius Catto; the first mural to a legal and civic giant, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr.; a community effort to rename a street from Taney — named for the Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision — for Caroline LeCount, Philly’s own Rosa Parks; and a school renamed from racist president Andrew Jackson to former slave-turned-educator Fanny Coppin Jackson.

Like these people, to me, the All Stars are the everyday folks who are doing the heavy lifting for their race and culture: Teachers, sanitation workers, people who work the traffic lights and run nurseries — both for kids and for your grass — the people who are clerks in local stores. They are the preachers who reach masses of people on a daily basis; the writers whose praises don’t get as well-sung as they should; the social activists who are out there trying to make a better life for us even when we don’t understand what’s at stake.

These are the people Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to as the “ground crew without whose labor and sacrifices the jet flights to freedom could never have left the earth.”


Ed Bradley

Journalist and News Anchor

Ed Bradley

Journalist and News Anchor


Ed Bradley is best known for his reporting on CBS News and his 25-year-long tenure with news magazine 60 Minutes. Born in Philadelphia, his career in broadcasting began by volunteering with Philadelphia radio news station WDAS-FM. 

Bradley, however, was not always destined for journalism. He graduated with a degree in education at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and went on to become an elementary school teacher, while volunteering with WDAS-FM in the evenings. After he spent two days covering a Philadelphia race riot, the station began paying Bradley an hourly wage. He stopped teaching once he joined WCBS radio as a reporter. 

In 1989, Bradley won awards for two of his CBS reports, The Boat People and Blacks In America: With All Deliberate Speed? Throughout his career on 60 Minutes, he received four George Foster Peabody Awards and 19 Emmy awards. 


  • Named one of the “100 Outstanding American Journalists in the last 100 years” in 2012 by faculty at New York University
  • First African American White House correspondent for CBS News
  • 19 Emmy awards and four Peabody Awards for his reporting

Final Word: Bradley is often quoted as having said, “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.”

Reporting by Aly Kerrigan and Ethan Young.

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