In 1959, at Cheyney State College, Bradley met George Woods, a disc jockey for the Philadelphia radio station WDAS FM. They became friends, and one night, Woods let Bradley announce a minute of news. Terribly nervous, Bradley--who today is praised for his impressive interview style--never changed the pitch of his voice nor added any nuances to his commentary. Of course, he was terribly dismayed when Woods regained the microphone, announcing, That was Ed Bradley. He used to sing with the Monotones"
Despite that unfavorable debut, Bradley became so hooked on broadcasting, that he worked at night as an unpaid disc jockey and news reporter at WDAS. He graduated college in 1964 and landed a teaching job, but continued spending time almost every night at WDAS. After hearing about a Philadelphia race riot on another station, Bradley rushed to WDAS demanding a tape recorder and engineer and spent the next 48 hours covering the riot--a performance that won him a job at the station. He was paid $1.25 an hour.
In 1967 he landed a job at CBS radio in New York after impressing the news director with an unconventional interview. He later became a stringer for CBS's Paris bureau. When he learned there were no important domestic stories for him to cover upon his return to New York from Paris, in 1972, he reacted by claiming, "That's fine--I don't want to work in New York. It's unlivable. I'd rather be in Vietnam!" Taking him at his word, within a week, CBS sent Bradley to Southeast Asia for eighteen months where although wounded, he escaped serious injury in Cambodia.
Today, earning quite a bit more than his first paying job, Bradley resides in-- often survivable--New York City.