Esther “Kitty” Buhler Bradley – Military Spouse

Kitty Bradley charted her own five-star path
By Trey Clark
The Desert Sun
February 14, 2004

It would be easy for the wife of a Five-Star General to bask in the shadow and benefits of her high-profile husband.

But Esther “Kitty” Bradley charted a distinct path of her own making the world smile with her screenplays for television and film.

Bradley died on February 3, 2004, in Rancho Mirage. She was 81.

Bradley wrote for some of the most popular television shows of the 1960s, including “Dragnet” and “My Three Sons.” She is also credited with 97 screenplays.

Bradley did not just confine her writing talents to entertainment. She was a UPI correspondent and lecturer, as well as the editor of her husband’s papers.

Bradley was the wife of General Omar Bradley. General Bradley fought in World War II under General Dwight D. Eisenhower before becoming the country’s first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1949. In 1950, Bradley was promoted to General of the Army with five stars, the second-highest military ranking in U.S. history.

He was one of only five men to be named a five-star general, and one of only nine to achieve a five-star rank of any kind.

The five-star ranking was discontinued after General Bradley’s death in 1981.

Esther Bradley attended college at Kansas Wesleyan University and the University of California, Los Angeles and received an honorary doctorate from Park College.

Bradley’s writing talent helped earn her an honorary membership in the National League of American Pen Women Inc. She was also active in the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Omar N. Bradley Foundation.

Bradley is survived by her sister, Lee Rosenthal of Pompano Beach, Florida, three nephews and two nieces.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Old Post Chapel in Fort Myer, Virginia. Burial at Arlington National Cemetery will follow. The family suggests memorials to the Omar N. Bradley Foundation.

Wife of famed general Omar Bradley was former screenwriter
Sunday February 15th, 2004

Esther “Kitty” Buhler Bradley, widow of the Army’s last Five-Star General, Omar N. Bradley, has died. She was 81.

Mrs. Bradley died February 3, 2004, at Eisenhower Medical Center from pneumonia that she developed after falling in her Rancho Mirage home several weeks ago, said retired Lieutenant Colonel. Charles Honeycutt, a former aide to the General.

Born in New York City, Mrs. Bradley worked in Washington state, Kansas and Los Angeles. She was a freelance writer in Okinawa when she met Bradley in 1950 during an interview assignment, Honeycutt said.

She returned to Southern California in the mid-1950s and worked as a screenwriter. Her credits included the 1958 Victor Mature movie “China Doll” and TV’s “My Three Sons.”

Bradley’s first wife died in 1965. Nine months later the 73-year-old general married Buhler, who was 44. It was her third marriage.

Bradley was senior commander of American ground forces in the 1944 invasion of Europe and after the war headed the Veterans Administration and became the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He died in 1981 at 88.

Mrs. Bradley lived in Century City until moving to Rancho Mirage in the late 1980s.

She is survived by a sister, Lee Rosenthal, of Florida and New York City.

Funeral services were scheduled for Friday in the chapel at Fort Myer, Virginia, with burial at Arlington National Cemetery.


On February 3, 2004 in Rancho Mirage, California. Widow of the late General of the Army, Omar Bradley. Services are scheduled at 2 p.m., Friday, February 20, 2004, at the Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer. Burial will immediately follow at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Omar N. Bradley Foundation, 22 Ashburn Drive Carlisle, Pennsyvania 17013.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 07/23/1922
  • DATE OF DEATH: 02/02/2004
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 02/20/2004

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