Edward Bradley
Civil Rights
Vice President and General Manager of KSLA TV

He was born at Confederate Memorial Hospital in Shreveport to London and Inez Holmes Bradley as the third of seven children. His father farmed and worked for the railroad while his mother drove a school bus for 30 years. As a child, Edward picked cotton and hauled pulpwood and hay. "If you didn't work you didn't eat," is how he characterizes his boyhood. All seven children went to college. Five earned degrees. Edward attended Southern University for two years, then transferred to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, where only 60 African-Americans were enrolled. Race relations were uneasy. Edward carried a golf club for protection. Some of the white males, he says, would shove the food of black females from dining tables. "We ended that," he says. Edwards started the first chapter of the NAACP on a college campus in Louisiana. He finished at Northwestern in 1971 and moved to Kansas City to join his brother, Milton. His first job was cleaning floors in a hospital. While working as an employment service technician with Missouri State Employment, he learned of a "go-for" job at KCMO-TV, a CBS affiliate. "So I set myself up for an interview and that's how I got into television," he recalls. Edward earned a job in advertising sales, where he worked his way up to top salesman. He was then promoted to national sales manager. Edward left for a similar position at a station in Syracuse, New York, where he later was named general manager. He entered the print medium as vice president of sales and marketing for Des Moines-based Meredith Corporation, then jumped back into television. Burt Ellis, who had purchased KSLA-TV in Shreveport, hired Edward as general manager. Edward began hiring more African-Americans for positions behind and in front of the camera, despite conventional wisdom that said viewers would not watch black talent. "That's not true. Folks watch quality. They don't watch color," he says. Meanwhile Edward integrated Shreveport Country Club and became president of the Committee of 100 in 2004. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor. Edward married Rita Cain in 1982. They have four children and four grandchildren.