World War II disrupted Bradley’s studies at Tennessee State University. He enlisted in the Army and following his discharge he came to Valparaiso University, where the school was trying to integrate its campus.
“In 1950, it was the time of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball and other barriers coming down,” said Lewis, who said the VU law school dean John Moreland allowed Bradley to stay in his own home. “He was forever indebted to the dean,” said Lewis.
Gary Bradley said his father needed an escort when he first began attending classes at VU.
In 1957, Bradley lobbied Congress for the passage of the Civil Rights Bill. He led a delegation of Gary residents to the 1963 March on Washington with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Poor People’s March on Washington in 1968.