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date: 14 April 2021

Bradley, Tomlocked

(29 December 1917–29 September 1998)
  • Ann T. Keene

Extract

Bradley, Tom (29 December 1917–29 September 1998), politician, was born Thomas Bradley to Lee and Crenner Hawkins Bradley, sharecroppers, on a cotton plantation in Calvert, Texas. He was the grandson of slaves in the Carolinas. When Tom was seven, the family moved to Los Angeles, where his father worked variously as a waiter, railroad porter, and steamship crewman. After his parents separated, Crenner Bradley worked as a maid. Tom and his siblings remained with their mother, but his father kept in regular contact. Both parents, but especially Tom's mother, encouraged their children to do well in school and applauded their accomplishments. For Tom, these included athletic achievements. As a student at Polytechnic High School in Los Angeles, Bradley became a track star as well as an all-city tackle on the football team. He was also popular with fellow students and defeated a white student for the presidency of the school's Boys League....

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