- On December 29, 2021
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Stephen Haile Bradford was born September 11, 1953, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to George Leroy Bradford and Alice Buckingham Bradford. The family later moved to Michigan City, Indiana, where he spent most of his childhood.
Stephen graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Aviation, and later earned a Masters degree in Commercial Aviation from Delta State University.
While working in aviation jobs, he lived in Tulsa, OK, South Sioux City, NE, Indianapolis, IN, Laurel, MD, and Alexandria, VA, before settling in the Pittsburgh area in 1988.
His airline career began in 1986 when he was hired by USAir, and ended with his retirement from American Airlines in 2018.
Steve Bradford was a Professional Airline Captain with a 30 year history of demonstrated success in leadership positions. He was a founding father and first president of the US Airline Pilots Association.
In his professional positions, Captain Bradford established and maintained the highest professional standards for his crew and his union, especially during turbulent periods of management/labor negotiations.
Captain Bradford was responsible for ensuring the timely, safe and efficient integration of three airline pilot groups during a merger that created the largest airline in the world, American Airlines.
He died suddenly, December 27, 2021, in his McMurray, PA home.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Sally, their two children, Daniel and Emily, and his three sisters, Judith Druener (Ronald) of Panama City, FL, Alexa Bradford (Delton Simmons) of Santa Fe, NM, and Elizabeth Bradford of Seattle, WA.