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Stephen Haile Bradford

  • On December 29, 2021
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.

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Dan Britt
I knew Steve from our days at USAPA. What he did, starting USAPA, took an incredible amount of guts and perseverance. He was a real pilot’s pilot and his contributions to the USAirway’s pilots are historic. Thank you Steve. RIP. You’ll be sorely missed. Dan Britt.
Barry Chapman
I flew with Steve at USAirways. I always admired Steve for his strength and perseverance during his career, leading the USAir pilots group away from the national union which had harmed the pilots so grievously, to an organization of his creation, which stuck to the highest ethical standards. A good man through and through.
Lee Seham
I worked closely with Steve during the early years of USAPA. He was selfless. He was dedicated to building consensus and helping and respecting others. An exemplary pilot and union leader. He also let us know that he loved his family and I am sure you will miss him greatly. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss and let us know if there is a fund to donate for either his family or a charity of your choice.
Debi Curtis
I’m so sorry for the sudden passing of Steve. He was a great friend and responsible for reconnecting our Long Beach friends. He will be remembered for his kindness and humor. My condolences to all the family.
John Hoskam
I am a old friend of his from Missouri who first met Steve at Long Beach Grade School and to my surprise was invited by him to attend that schools class reunion a few years ago. Thanks Steve. He brought a lot of people together.
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