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Mayor Walsh announces the appointment of Ben Bradlee Jr. to the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees

May 10, 2016

Boston Public Library

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Bradlee fills the Board's unofficial writer's seat, which has been previously held by notable authors such as Dennis Lehane, David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that Ben Bradlee Jr., author and a former editor for The Boston Globe, has been appointed to the Boston Public Library Board of Trustees. Bradlee was sworn in during the Board's annual meeting held this morning May 10 at the Central Library in Copley Square. Bradlee fills the Board's unofficial writer's seat, which has been previously held by notable authors such as Dennis Lehane, David McCullough and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

"Ben Bradlee Jr.'s experience in the media and as an acclaimed author make him a natural fit and valued addition to the BPL Board," said Mayor Walsh. "I thank Ben for his commitment to the city and I look forward to seeing the nation's first large, free municipal library continue to flourish under the leadership of the Board."

"The BPL Board is pleased to welcome Ben Bradlee Jr. to the governing body of the Boston Public Library," said Robert Gallery, Chair of the BPL Board of Trustees. "His background brings a fresh perspective to the Board with his deep knowledge of the value of libraries for research and for fact finding, which have surely served him throughout his career. We look forward to his contribution on the BPL Board of Trustees."

The Boston Public Library Board of Trustees establishes policies and long-term goals of the library, oversees the general operating and administrative policies, and acts as an agent of public trust governing the library. The BPL Board of Trustees works together with the library president to carry out responsibilities that involve governance and policy-making, finances, strategic planning, human resources and continuing education affairs.

"It is an honor to be appointed to the Boston Public Library's Board of Trustees,'' said Bradlee. "I believe public access to libraries is a cornerstone of democratic society, and I am dedicated to strengthening public access for all. I thank Mayor Walsh and the Library's board for this opportunity, and I look forward to working to ensure that the citizens of Boston continue to enjoy the tremendous value the BPL provides."

A full biography of Ben Bradlee Jr. is included below:

Ben Bradlee Jr.'s most recent book: The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams, was published by Little, Brown in December of 2013. The book was received with critical acclaim, made the New York Times best-seller list and has been optioned for a movie. Bradlee spent 25 years, from 1979 to 2004, with The Boston Globe -- 10 years as a reporter and 15 as an editor.

As deputy managing editor, he oversaw the Globe's Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church from July 2001 to August 2002, and also supervised the production of a book on the subject, "Betrayal,'' which Little, Brown published in June, 2002. "Spotlight,'' a major feature film on the Globe's investigation, was released in the fall of 2015 and won two Academy Awards, for best original screenplay and best picture.  Bradlee is portrayed in the film by actor John Slattery. 

Bradlee's first editing assignment was as Political Editor, supervising the paper's State House and City Hall bureaus in 1989 and 1990. He then served as Assistant Managing Editor for local news from January of 1991, to November of 1993, when he was named Assistant Managing Editor for Projects and Investigations. He was later promoted to Deputy Managing Editor, while retaining the same position. In that capacity, Bradlee oversaw the Spotlight Team (the Globe's investigative unit) and several other reporters who produced long-term projects or series. He also worked on an ad-hoc basis with reporters on the metropolitan, business, national and foreign staffs in producing special projects, and occasionally, wrote major pieces himself.

As a reporter, he served on the Spotlight Team, at the State House bureau, and as the paper's roving national correspondent from 1982-1986. He covered the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis and also reported overseas for The Globe from Afghanistan, South Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Vietnam.

Bradlee has written three previous books. His first was The Ambush Murders, the case of a black activist accused -- and ultimately acquitted after three trials -- of killing two white policemen in Riverside, Calif. It was a story about small-town justice and how justice functions in emotionally-charged circumstances when police investigate the deaths of two of their own. The book was published in 1979 by Dodd, Mead, and later made into a television movie for CBS.

Bradlee was co-author of  Prophet of Blood -- the story of polygamous cult leader and self-styled prophet-of-God Ervil LeBaron, whom authorities considered responsible for up to a dozen murders in the Intermountain West and Mexico during the 70's. The book -- which explored the interplay between sex, violence and religion in an offshoot of the Mormon Church -- was published by G.P. Putnam in 1981.

Bradlee's third book was "Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North.'' Published by Donald I. Fine Inc. in 1988, the book chronicled North and the Iran-Contra affair, and was the basis for a four-hour television mini-series which aired on CBS in May of 1989.

A graduate of Colby College, Bradlee served in the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1970-1972. On his return to the United States in 1972, he went to work as a reporter for the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, remaining there until mid 1975.