Edward Sculley Bradley (1897-1987) was a scholar, author, educator, and administrator at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Philadelphia to Stephen Edward Bradley and Annette Evelyn Palmer, he received a B.A. in 1919, M.A. in 1921, and Ph.D. in 1925, all from the University of Pennsylvania. Bradley began his teaching career at Penn as an instructor of English, from 1919 to 1926. He was assistant professor from 1926 to 1937, associate professor from 1937 to 1940 and professor from 1940 to 1967. He served as vice provost of undergraduate education from 1956 to 1963. Bradley held several visiting professorships: at Duke University during the summers of 1932, 1937, and 1941; at Northwestern University in 1938; and at the University Southern California in 1940. He served as lecturer at the Ogontz School from 1926 to 1932; at Rosemont College from 1930 to 1933; at Upton School Drama in Philadelphia from 1930 to 1934; and at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in 1945.
Sculley Bradley was a prolific writer and editor, serving as assistant literature editor of the Philadelphia Record from 1930 to 1931 and editor of the General Magazine and History Chronicle in Philadelphia from 1945 to 1956. He published biographies of literary figures George Henry Boker and Henry Charles Lea, as well as several editions of the important and popular anthology, The American Tradition in Literature. He also published editions of works by Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Walt Whitman. Bradley was considered an international expert on Whitman, editing several important editions of the poet's Leaves of Grass, including the 1949 Rinehart edition, the Comprehensive Reader's Edition in 1965, a Norton Critical Edition in 1973 and A Textual Variorum in 1980. He was also a general editor and contributed to the 14-volume Collected Writings of Walt Whitman from 1961 to 1984.
While at Penn, Sculley Bradley maintained a long association with many important writers of his day. He was instrumental in the University acquiring numerous important literary collections, including the Walt Whitman collection, the James T. Farrell papers, the William Carlos Williams research collection, the George H. Boker papers, the Henry Charles Lea papers, and the Theodore Dreiser papers. He was a trustee of the Walt Whitman Foundation, and a member of the Franklin Inn Club, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, Phi Beta Kappa, Delta Sigma Rho, and Alpha Chi Rho. He was a fellow of the Society of American Studies and the American Association of University Professors, and chairman of the American Literature Group of the Modern Language Association from 1937 to 1938. He was a member of the Society of Friends and was a founding member of Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting, and served on the board of Germantown Friends School and Friends Hospital. He was married to Marguerite C. Bradley and had two daughters, Deborah B. Oberholtzer and Alison B. Wilhelm.