Planet Princeton

Bill Bradley donates his papers to Princeton University

Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley has donated his collection of personal documents to the Princeton University Library. The extensive collection documents the career of the former congressman, professional basketball player, and 1965 Princeton alumnus.

The papers, in more than 1,100 boxes, chronicle his time in Congress, where he served as U.S. Senator from New Jersey from 1979 to 1997. They include copies of his speeches and testimony, press releases, his schedules and appointments, and awards he received while in office. The collection also includes files from his legislative, administrative, and state office staff.

As a senator, Bradley championed the 1986 income tax revision, California water rights, energy, and the environment, among other national and state issues. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in the 2000 election.

“The Bradley papers are a rich source of information for his work in the Senate, issues which continue to resonate with us today,” said Princeton University Archivist and Curator of Public Policy Papers Dan Linke.

Before running for office, Bradley was a star player for the New York Knicks for more than 10 years, becoming a two-time National Basketball Association champion and NBA All-Star. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. Writer John McPhee profiled Bradley during his senior year in the book “A Sense of Where You Are.”

Bradley earned his bachelor’s degree in American history from Princeton University. During his undergraduate career, he was a member of the 1964 U.S. Olympic basketball team that won a gold medal. He became captain of the men’s basketball team his senior year, leading the Tigers to the Ivy League title, then played in the NCAA tournament, finishing third. The Tigers ended the year with a 23-6 record. he attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, delaying a decision for two years on whether or not to play in the NBA. While at Oxford, he played one season of professional basketball in Europe.

Bradley currently serves as a managing director of Allen & Company LLC and is a member of the Starbucks board of directors. He has written seven non-fiction books, most recently “We Can All Do Better,” and hosts the radio show American Voices.

The Bill Bradley Papers are housed with other public policy papers in the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library at 65 Olden Street. The University has stored the Bill Bradley Papers since 1997, when Bradley stepped down from political office. The collection will not be open for research use until December 20 of 2032.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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