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Ethel Bradley

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Information about Ethel Bradley

Profile image of Ethel Bradley

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
February
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/9/1919
Birth Location:
Tyler, Texas

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Pink
Favorite Food:
Shrimp
Favorite Time of Year:
February
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/9/1919
Birth Location:
Tyler
See how Ethel Bradley is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Civic leader Ethel Bradley was born in Tyler, Texas to Benjamin and Lucille Arnold on February 9, 1919. In 1941, she married Thomas Bradley, a man she met at The New Hope Baptist Church as a teenager. Thomas Bradley, the son of share-croppers, was from a less socially prominent family than Bradley. Thomas worked as a police officer and then went on to earn a law degree. The Bradley’s had two daughters, Phyllis and Lorraine.

Thomas Bradley’s political career began when he was elected as a representative of 10th District to the Los Angeles City Council . In 1973, Thomas became the first African American mayor of Los Angeles, California. Over the next twenty years, Ethel Bradley would become a humanitarian as the first lady of Los Angeles. As first lady, she was known for being an avid Dodgers fan and cultivating fuschia flowers at the Getty Mansion, the mayoral residence. Bradley organized a women’s volunteer corps, Las Angelenas and was co-founder of the Black Women’s Forum. She also worked with the YWCA and the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. In 1992, Thomas Bradley joined the downtown law offices of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. His law career came to a premature end when in 1996 he suffered a heart attack and stroke, which left him unable to speak. Two years later, her husband suffered a fatal heart attack. Over 1,700 people attended his funeral at the African Methodist Episcopal Church. One attendee at the funeral, Vice President Al Gore, spoke in his honor. Bradley donated over 100 of her late husband’s artifacts to the California African American Museum in 2000.

In 2003, The Tom and Ethel Bradley Foundation was established. The goals of this foundation were, to honor the legacy of both of the Bradley’s and to encourage individuals to become responsible citizens. In 2006, The Ethel Bradley Early Education and Health Career Center was unveiled by the Los Angeles Unified School District, it was envisioned by the co-founders of the Black Women’s Forum. This center was designed to provide training, employment and childcare to the Los Angeles, California community.

Bradley passed away on November 25, 2008 at the age of 89.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ethel Bradley's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ethel Bradley lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ethel Bradley describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ethel Bradley describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ethel Bradley talks about her siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ethel Bradley recalls her family's move from Texas to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ethel Bradley describes her community in Dallas, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ethel Bradley recalls singing professionally with her sister
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ethel Bradley talks about her childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ethel Bradley talks about her early education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ethel Bradley remembers her favorite teachers
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Ethel Bradley describes her family's social activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Ethel Bradley describes the reason for her family's move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Ethel Brady describes her transition to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Ethel Bradley remembers the earthquake of 1933 in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ethel Bradley describes the logistics of her family's move to Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ethel Bradley talks about her higher education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ethel Bradley recalls opening a hair salon in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ethel Bradley remembers meeting her husband
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ethel Bradley talks about her professional singing career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ethel Bradley recalls her marriage to Tom Bradley
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ethel Bradley describes her husband, Tom Bradley's career at the Los Angeles Police Department
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ethel Bradley describes her involvement in social organizations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ethel Bradley remembers her husband, Tom Bradley
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ethel Bradley recalls her initial involvement in politics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Ethel Bradley remembers moving to the West Side of Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Ethel Bradley talks about her fuchsia garden
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Ethel Bradley recalls her love of baseball
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Ethel Bradley talks about the Crenshaw Democratic Club
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Ethel Bradley recalls her husband, Tom Bradley's campaign for the Los Angeles City Council
  • Tape: 2 Story: 16 - Ethel Bradley describes the impact of her husband's election on her family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 17 - Ethel Bradley talks about her husband's experiences on the Los Angeles City Council
  • Tape: 2 Story: 18 - Ethel Bradley recalls the impact of the Civil Rights Movement in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ethel Bradley describes her husband, Tom Bradley's mayoral campaigns
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ethel Bradley remembers her husband's mayoral inauguration in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ethel Bradley recalls the threats to her family during her husband's mayoralty
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ethel Bradley remembers the supporters of her husband, Mayor Tom Bradley
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ethel Bradley talks about the Getty House in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ethel Bradley describes her role in the establishment of the Getty House
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ethel Bradley recalls the founding of the Black Women's Forum
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ethel Bradley remembers Jessie Mae Beavers and Ben Weisman
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ethel Bradley talks about her love of the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Ethel Bradley remembers the assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Ethel Bradley talks about her sports memorabilia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Ethel Bradley remembers the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Ethel Bradley remembers participating in parades
  • Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Ethel Bradley reflects upon her life and shares a message for future generations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Ethel Bradley describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 3 Story: 16 - Ethel Bradley's daughter, Phyllis Bradley, narrates her photographs