Omar Bradley, from Missouri, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1915, in a class with 59 future generals known as “the class the stars fell on.” He served with an infantry regiment that never left the states during World War I, a fact that bothered him. During the interwar period, he taught at Army schools, including commandant of the Infantry School where he received his first star in 1941.
He commanded the 82nd and 28th infantry divisions in the early days of World War II. In 1943, Bradley served under Lt. Gen. Patton in North Africa as a Corps commander. Gen. Eisenhower chose Bradley to be Army Group Commander during Operation Overlord, where he led 1st Army through Normandy. By the end of World War II, Bradley commanded 43 divisions, about 1.3 million soldiers.
After the war, Gen. Bradley served as the head of Veterans Affairs, and then followed Eisenhower as Chief of Staff, and then became Chair of the Joint Chiefs. During the Korean War, Bradley opposed expanding the war to include China. He was promoted to General of the Army (five stars) in 1950. His time leading the Joint Chiefs ended in 1953.
After leaving active service, Bradley joined the Bulova Watch Company, eventually becoming chairman of the board. Bradley served as the President of the George C. Marshall Foundation. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 for his long service to the United States. Bradley died in New York on April 8, 1981.
To find other items that the Marshall Foundation has on Omar Bradley, search “Omar Bradley” in the library catalog: https://www.marshallfoundation.org/library/results/
Digitized items in the George C. Marshall archives: