Ed Bradley left this Earth far too soon at the age of 65, eight years ago this week. I was still relatively new at 60 Minutes when he died, but the two years of working with him were two years of privilege. I'd known Ed socially, but was always in awe of his work. So much has happened in the eight years since he's died and at every news-making milestone -- be it an Obama presidency, the tsunami in Japan, Newtown, the earthquake in Haiti, crisis in Ukraine or Arab spring -- I can't help but think of Ed because he would've been right there in the thick of it.
Ed was the quintessential reporter who also loved life and a good meal. He was able to show all of us that it was possible to enjoy both without ever forgetting that hard work pays off. As 60 Minutes producer Graham Messick remembers, "When you worked with Ed, you never forgot how lucky you were to be working here, because he never took any of our experiences and adventures for granted. He lived life in deep appreciation."
60 Minutes editor-producer Lisa Orlando remembers that "for a man of few words, Ed was a great storyteller, with his signature cigar at his fingertips. I remember him 'holding court' on a shoot in Haiti, entertaining not only the 60 Minutes team and CBS Haitian bureau, but the hotel staff as well. His humor was to the point. One of my favorites -- after he screened a piece in which I had recorded a scratch track narration (my voice instead of his) while he was on location, 'Lisa, keep your day job,' he wryly said."
60 Minutes producer Harry Radliffe sums up his memories of Ed like this: "Missed." He says, "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss Ed. His friendship. His style. His professionalism. Ed was one of the most unique personalities in the history of broadcast journalism. His voice. His smile. His mannerisms. His honesty and fearlessness and his curiosity -- which compelled him to cover an extraordinary variety of stories all over the world. I miss him because he was rare. A genuine original. A one of a kind. That's someone to be missed and remembered."
In his 1979 report on Vietnamese refugees, 60 Minutes correspondent Ed Bradley can be seen in the waters rescuing those who risked their lives in hopes of reaching freedom after the Vietnam War. Watch it in the video player above.