Bradley, Omar Nelson (1893–1981), a United States army officer. He won fame in World War II as commander in North Africa and France. Outstanding as a strategist and tactician, Bradley was known as an infantry specialist. He was called “the soldier's soldier” because of his interest in the welfare of enlisted men.
Bradley was born in Clark, Missouri, and graduated from West Point in 1915. He served in the United States during World War I and after the war taught military science at civilian colleges and West Point. Bradley attended the Infantry School in 1925, the Command and General Staff School in 1929, and the Army War College in 1934. When the United States entered World War II he was a brigadier general.
In 1941–42 Bradley expanded the officers candidate school at Fort Benning, Georgia, and built up the first United States airborne division, the 82nd. Bradley became General George Patton's deputy and then successor as commander of the Second Army Corps in the Tunisian campaign in 1943. In July he took part in the Sicilian invasion. He commanded the U.S. First Army in the invasion of Normandy and, later in 1944, the 12th Army Group.
Bradley became a four-star general in 1945. In the same year he was named Administrator of Veterans Affairs. In 1948 he became chief of staff, succeeding General Eisenhower, and in 1949 was appointed first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1950 Bradley was made general of the army, a five-star rank. In 1953 he entered civilian life and became a business executive, but because five-star generals hold their rank for life he officially remained an active-duty officer. His memoirs are A Soldier's Story (1951). A General's Life (1983), written with Clay Blair, is an autobiography.