Bradley, who had won 19 Emmy awards, covered an incredible array of stories after joining the CBS newsmagazine in 1981, from brain cancer to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church to the high school shootings at Columbine.
He also reported a number of award-winning documentaries, covered political conventions and filled in on the "CBS Evening News" and other programs.
Bradley remained active on "60 Minutes," but he had been ill for some time and underwent heart surgery about a year ago.
Bradley was born in Philadelphia and graduated in 1964 from what was then known as Cheney State College. On the Web site of the school, now called Cheney University of Pennsylvania, Bradley's name tops the list of distinguished alumni.
He taught sixth grade after college, and worked without pay as a jazz disc jockey and news reporter for WDAS-FM radio in Philadelphia. His first news story was covering riots in North Philadelphia, which won him a minimum-wage salary of $1.25 an hour. By 1967 he was hired at the all-news WCBS Radio in New York City.
In 1971, Bradley broke into television as a stringer in Paris for CBS News. In 1972, he became a reporter in CBS Saigon bureau, covering the Vietnam War and in 1973 was wounded on assignment in Cambodia. He returned to the states and the CBS Washington bureau. He became White House correspondent from 1976 to 1978, anchored the Sunday evening newscast and joined 60 Minutes in 1981.
Bradley, who was among the first wave of African Americans to break into network television news, was honored last year with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Three of his Emmys came at the 2003 awards: a lifetime achievement Emmy, one for a 2002 60 Minutes report on brain cancer patients and for a 60 Minutes report about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.
My thoughts: WE lost a gentle giant. He was a consumate professional in the world of journalism and beyond. He was admired and respected. He just did so much for so many African-American kids. He was a great role model and mentor. He will be missed.