Bill Bradley


William Warren "Bill" Bradley is an American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2000 election. Bradley was born and raised in a suburb of St. Louis and excelled at basketball from an early age. He was a member of the Boy Scouts, did well academically and was an all-county and all-state basketball player in high school.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Bill Bradley.


1943 Birth Bradley was born on July 28, 1943 in Crystal City, Missouri, the only child of Warren (d. 1994), who despite leaving high school after a year had become a bank president, and Susan "Susie" (née Crowe) Bradley (d. 1995), a teacher and former high school-basketball player.
1948 4 Years Old Politicians and politics were standard dinner-table topics in Bradley's childhood, and he described his father as a "solid Republican" who was an elector for Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. … Read More


1961 17 Years Old 1 More Event
Considered the top high school player in the country, Bradley initially chose to attend Duke University in the fall of 1961.
1963 19 Years Old In his sophomore year Bradley scored 40 points in an 82–81 loss to St. Joseph's and was named to The Sporting News All-American first team in early 1963. … Read More


At the Olympic basketball trials in April 1964, Bradley played guard instead of his usual forward position but was still a top performer. … Read More
He was awarded the 1965 James E. Sullivan Award, presented annually to the United States' top amateur athlete, the first basketball player to win the honor, and the second Princeton student to win the award, after runner Bill Bonthron in 1934. … Read More
1967 23 Years Old 1 More Event
Bradley dropped out of Oxford two months prior to graduation in April 1967, to go into the Air Force Reserves.
1968 24 Years Old The following year Oxford let Bradley take "special exams" and he graduated Oxford in 1968. (On March 6, 1967, Lyndon B. Johnson in a Special Message to the Congress on Selective Service, declared that he would be issuing an Executive Order that no deferments for post-graduate study be granted in the future, except for those men pursuing medical and dental courses.) … Read More
1972 28 Years Old 1 More Event
Then, in his third season, the Knicks won their first-ever NBA championship, followed by the second in the 1972–73 season, when he made the only All-Star Game appearance of his career.


1974 30 Years Old Bradley married Ernestine (née Misslbeck) Schlant, a German-born professor of comparative literature, in 1974. … Read More
1976 32 Years Old In 1976, he also became an author by publishing Life on the Run. … Read More
1977 33 Years Old 1 More Event
Retiring from basketball in 1977, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, along with teammate Dave DeBusschere. … Read More
1981 37 Years Old Domestic policy initiatives that Bradley led or was associated with included reform of child support enforcement; legislation concerning lead-related children's health problems; the Earned Income Tax Credit; campaign finance reform; a re-apportioning of California water rights; and federal budget reform to reduce the deficit, which included, in 1981, supporting Reagan's spending cuts but opposing his parallel tax cut package, one of only three senators to take this position. … Read More


1984 40 Years Old 1 More Event
…  He was re-elected in 1984 and 1990, left the Senate in 1997, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2000 Democratic presidential nomination. … Read More
1988 44 Years Old In 1988, he was encouraged to seek the Democratic nomination for President, but he declined to enter the race, saying that he would know when he was ready.
1990 46 Years Old In 1990, a controversy over a state income tax increase—on which he refused to take a position—and his proposal on merit pay for teachers, which led the NJEA to support his opponent, turned his once-obscure rival for the Senate, Christine Todd Whitman, into a viable candidate, and Bradley won by only a slim margin.


1995 - 1999 2 More Events
…  He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2000 election.
2002 58 Years Old In September 2002, Bradley turned down a request from New Jersey Democrats to replace Robert Torricelli on the ballot for his old Senate seat, which another former senator, Frank Lautenberg, accepted.
2003 59 Years Old Oxford University awarded Bradley an honorary Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) in 2003, with a citation that described him in part as " an outstandingly distinguished athlete, a weighty pillar of the Senate, and still a powerful advocate of the weak ".


2004 60 Years Old In January 2004, Bradley and Gore both endorsed Howard Dean for President in the 2004 Democratic primaries.
Bradley later called it a "great honor" to be the presenter when Jackson was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.
2008 64 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2008 Bradley was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
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