William Nathaniel Bradley was born on 19 August 1871, in Felton, Delaware,
and moved to Philadelphia at an early age. He married Marion
Agnes Butsch (d.1937) in 1911. The Bradleys had two daughters,
Marion Audrey Harvey and Jean Claire Anderson. Born a Methodist,
Bradley later became a member of the Presbyterian Church. He
died in Wilmington, Delaware, on 17 April 1962.
Bradley's professional career began in 1888 when he became
an apprentice at a Philadelphia drugstore. In 1892, he graduated
from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy; in 1894, he received
an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.
From 1894 to 1896, Bradley taught histology at Jefferson Medical College.
In 1896, he became the chief of the Children's Clinic at the
South Eastern Dispensary. In 1909, Bradley was appointed Medical Director
of the Starr Center Association. He also worked as assistant
physician in the outpatient departments at Pennsylvania Hospital
and Philadelphia Orthopaedic Hospital (1909-1911).
From 1910 to 1912, Bradley taught pediatrics at Jefferson,
and he served as Pediatrist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
from 1912 to 1915. From 1915 to 1929, Bradley had charge of
the pediatric department at Howard Hospital. He also was instrumental
in the establishment of Babies' Hospital in 1911. In 1912,
he began to teach pediatrics at the School of Medicine of the
University of Pennsylvania; he continued in this position until
1926. From 1917 to 1946, he worked on the pediatric staff at
Philadelphia General Hospital. Bradley also taught at the Graduate
School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania (1921 to
1946). He served as consulting pediatrist to the Municipal
Hospital for Contagious Diseases (1936-1946) and Wills Eye Hospital
(1932-1945). Bradley retired from active practice in 1955.
William N. Bradley was active in many professional organizations.
He served as a vice president of the Philadelphia County Medical
Society and helped to establish its South Branch. In 1906,
he was elected to the Philadelphia Pediatric Society and was
president of the society from 1914 to 1917. He also effected
the establishment of the child hygiene division of the Commonwealth
In 1907, William Bradley was elected to fellowship in the College
of Physicians of Philadelphia. He was active on the Library
Committee of the College. In addition to his professional concern
for pediatrics, Bradley was also deeply interested in the history
of medicine and presented his extensive collection of photographs
of physicians to the College in 1941.