I am an African-American broadcast journalism professor in the Bay Area. These comments are offered regarding the death of Ed Bradley.
The journalism world has lost a gentle giant today. The death of Ed Bradley of CBS News and 60 Minutes leaves a unique void which deeply affects everyone who knew him and his work.
In addition to being admired as an outstanding journalist, Ed Bradley was widely known for his kindness and genuine interest in all people. His ability to interact with, listen to and insightfully interview people from all walks of life made him an incredible role model in his profession.
Yes, he was a respected black journalist. But Ed Bradley served a much higher calling, offering inspiration for all minority news writers, producers and editors. He proved in network news that within America's diverse populations there are gifted people of color with the ability to consistently maintain high standards for quality reporting while daring to share their cultural uniqueness and community perspectives to help broaden America's understanding and discussion of timely and important issues.
Ed Bradley's range, from tough questioning to geniune charm and playful personality, all combined to touch the hearts of millions of viewers and industry colleagues. His outreach was particularly felt and valued among young people. He was known as a willing and eager mentor of young journalists. He found time to care and show it. By his work example, he also encouraged students and inspired educators to go beyond the easy, and believe that their individual gifts were enough to make a positive difference in life.
The many tributes for this towering giant in journalism could never be enough to thank a truly great man for a life and career exceptionally well done.
Ed Bradley worked to keep broadcast journalism as a noble professional endeavor. His voice, his style, his impact, and his boyish smile will be missed.
Prof. Bob Rucker
Broadcast Journalism Coordinator
San Jose State University
& Former CNN Correspondent