Staff Blog: Remembering Ed Bradley (November 16, 2006)

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When the page was made over the intercom last Thursday here at trailer E that news icon Ed Bradley passed away, I was immediately saddened. Not because this was a man whom I had a long, deep association with, but because he was simply a dedicated journalist.

I was three years old when Ed Bradley joined 60 Minutes in 1981. I don?t remember exactly the first time I saw him do a story, but I do know that it was my grandmother and grandfather who I would sit there with as a young kid on a lazy Sunday night, wondering why on earth they were watching such ?boring? TV. The name Ed Bradley meant nothing to me then. But it sure means something now.

Over the course of his 25 year career at the esteemed news magazine show, Bradley brought to the broadcast countless stories, memorable interviews, and true dedication. It was hard not to notice the human side to this man either. Whether it was his reporting on the AIDS epidemic in Uganda or when Muhammad Ali had the last laugh by pretending to have narcolepsy, only to surprise Bradley with one of his trademark jabs, Ed Bradley was the consummate reporter. His 19 Emmys and countless Peabody awards were a reflection of just that. But I?m sure he would agree, the awards were never really the focus.

60 Minutes went off the air on Sunday with a special jazz performance by Wynton Marsalis(a traditional number that mourns the loss and celebrates the life at a New Orleans jazz funeral), covering it with photos and images of Ed from over the years. Although you could never sum up a man in a minute or less, the ending to the broadcast couldn?t have been more fitting.

Somehow when I tune into 60 Minutes this Sunday, it just won?t be the same.

-Matt Smith

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