Barbara Taylor Bradford – WOMAN of ACTION™



A Celebration of Women™

 is elated to Celebrate the Life of this woman that knew from a very young age who she was, what she wanted to do with her life, and Took Action to follow her calling.  

 A woman leader and a woman far ahead of her times, this power of example has thrived through the most successful of literary careers, still managing to find time to work diligently in the realm of charity; in areas of breast cancer and literacy for all.







Barbara Taylor Bradford



This woman was born in Upper Armley, Leeds, in Yorkshire, Barbara was the only child of Winston and Freda Taylor. Ask the internationally renowned best-selling author who influenced her the most throughout her childhood, and she will unhesitatingly tell you it was her mother. Freda Taylor was a former children’s nurse and nanny — and a voracious reader who introduced Barbara to books at the tender age of 4. By the time she was 12, she had read all of Dickens and the Brontes.

Seeds for the future were sown.

After attending Christ Church Elementary School and Northcote Private School for Girls, Barbara Taylor Bradford started work as a typist for the Yorkshire Evening Post. She was 15 1/2. Within six months she was promoted to cub reporter in the newsroom.

“It was because I was such a bad typist and was ruining so much of their expensive paper!” she joked.

Barb youngbtb2 magazine daysNevertheless, at 18 she became the newspaper’s Woman’s Page Editor. At age 20 she decided to head for London, where she became Fashion Editor of the magazine Woman’s Own.

In the ensuing years in Fleet Street, hub of Britain’s publishing empire, she covered every beat from crime to show business reporting for the London Evening News, Today Magazine and other publications. The grounding paid off. Today Barbara Taylor Bradford is published in over 90 countries in 40 languages, with sales figures in excess of 82 million.


barbarabob2a1961 was a significant year for Barbara Taylor, a journalist who felt destined to become “a hard-bitten reporter in a dirty trench coat.” On a blind date she met her husband-to-be, American film producer Robert Bradford, and fell in love at first sight.

In 1963 they married, and Barbara moved to the USA. She carried on her journalistic career writing a syndicated column, Designing Woman, covering interior design and lifestyles, which appeared three times a week in 183 newspapers across America. The column was published for twelve years and garnered several awards.

Children’s books followed, plus eight books on decorating; however, Barbara never lost her desire to write fiction, and despite several failed attempts, the turning point came in 1976 when she sold A Woman of Substance to a publisher on the strength of a ten-page outline and 192 pages.

The rest, as they say, is history!

couch2Barbara Taylor Bradford has, to date, written 25 novels — each of which has been dedicated to “Bob.” Both workaholics and unrepentant romantics, Barbara and Bob celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in 2003 and remain as dedicated to one another as they were when they first met.

“I refer to him as the General,” she says, “and he calls me Napoleon!”

Robert produces all of her mini-series and films, structures her contracts and spearheads all of the activities of the industry that is Barbara Taylor Bradford.

In 1990, the child who disappointed her parents by going to work on a newspaper instead of pursuing a higher education received a Degree of Doctor of Letters Honoris Causa from the Chancellor of Leeds University.

Barbara Taylor Bradford received the award from HRH the Duchess of Kent.

The Brotherton Library of Leeds University became the keeper of the Barbara Taylor Bradford archive in 1988, and the archive is part of the world-renowned Brotherton Collection.

Her first novel, A Woman of Substance, became an enduring best-seller and according to Reuters, it ranks as one of the top-ten best-selling novels of all time. A Woman Of Substance has been followed by 27 others – all best-sellers on both sides of the Atlantic. Barbara Taylor Braford’s manuscripts are housed in glass-fronted cases, next to those of the Bronte sisters, who wrote such classics as “Withering Heights” and “Jane Eyre.”

In 1995 Barbara received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford and, the following year, another Honorary Doctorate from the Teikyo Post University in Connecticut. In 2005 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Sienna College in New York.

barb cuomo2Other awards include the Matrix Award in books from New York Women in Communications Inc. (1985), the American Society of Interior Designers’ “Editorial Award for Writing Excellence” (1985), the Special Jury Prize for Body of Literature from the Deauville Festival of American Film (1994), the Birmingham-Southern College “Gala 12” Woman of the Year Award (1995), City of Hope’s “Spirit of Life Award” and the establishment of the “Barbara Taylor Bradford Research Fellowship in Pediatric Leukemia” (1995), the Girls Inc.

“She Knows Where She’s Going Award” (1995), the PAL “Police Athletic League Women of the Year Award” (1995), Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s “Spirit of Achievement Award” (1996), the Five Towns Music and Art Foundation’s “Award of Achievement” for outstanding accomplishments in the field of Literature (1997), and the British Excellence Award given aboard the QE2 (1998).

Barbara was inducted into the Matrix Hall of Fame in 1998.

In 1999, Bradford became the first living female author to be featured on a postage stamp, when she was honoured on legal tender by the nations of St. Vincent and Grenada. In 2002, she was again recognised with a postage stamp by the British Isle of Man.

In April 2003, she was inducted into the Writers Hall of Fame of America, joining the ranks of Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Dr. Seuss and Langston Hughes. In June of 2007, Barbara was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to Literature. Barbara received her medal from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. In May of 2010, Barbara and Bob were honored by Literacy Partners at their annual gala dinner for their philanthropy in raising critical funds for disadvantaged New Yorkers.


barb PAL atdesk2In addition to her hectic writing schedule, she also manages to serve on the board of PAL, the Police Athletic League, a charity for underprivileged children.

The Police Athletic League (sometimes Police Activities League) (PAL) is an organization in many American police departments in which members of the police force coach young people, both boys and girls, in sports, and help with homework and other school-related activities. The purpose is to build character, help strengthen police-community relations, and keep children off illegal drugs. Most PAL programs now call themselves “Police Activities Leagues” because many of the programs are now focused on youth enrichment, educational and youth leadership programs and not just sports. Some organizations are also called Sheriff Activities Leagues “SAL” because their sponsoring agency is a Sheriff’s Department.

According to local Police Athletic Leagues, the program generally solicits funds, equipment, and volunteer help from members of the community, so that the cost to taxpayers is small while the returns are great. Participants in the League’s activities are supposedly much less likely to engage in crime, far more likely to praise the character of the police force, and discourage their friends from either committing crimes or covering up criminal activity.

PAL2.smallPolice Athletic League programs usually have a competitive component. Although the vast majority of the League’s contests are with other youths in the same city, there are regularly scheduled national contests between teams in different parts of the country. For many of the young people who participate, it is their first chance to travel to where the contests are held.
The Police Athletic League provides participation in many sports. These include Soccer, Basketball, Football, and many other sports throughout the U.S.
The National Association of Police Athletics/Activities Leagues, Inc. is based in Jupiter, Florida.

She is a member of the Author’s Guild of America Council and is on the board of PACT, Parents & Abducted Children Together, as well as Literacy Partners.

sgk-logo_topBarbara is also involved in several charities including City-Meals-On-Wheels and The Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

She was an ambassador for the March of Dimes in 1999 while on the road promoting her novel A Sudden Change Of Heart. A Sudden Change of Heart,1999

Barbara Taylor Bradford has become one of the world’s most cherished storytellers, having written fourteen bestselling novels that went on to become enduring favorites.

a-sudden-change-of-heartIn A Sudden Change of Heart, readers are once again invited to fall under the spell of a magical weaver of tales at her most seductive.

Laura Valiant and Claire Benson are best friends from childhood and have remained exceptionally close through the turmoil of adult life. They have much to celebrate: Laura is a partner in a challenging and successful art dealership in New York, and her marriage to the handsome and always amiable Doug seems to come right from a storybook. Though divorced from her French husband, Philippe Lavillard, Claire delights in her precocious daughter, Natasha.

But the two friends’ lives do not follow the paths we imagine they will, and when Claire is confronted with sudden tragedy, she naturally turns to Laura for help. When the long-hidden history of the Lavillard family intersects with Laura’s investigation into artwork stolen by the Nazis during the war, Barbara Taylor Bradford’s gripping tale reaches a dramatic and unexpected crescendo.

A Sudden Change of Heart revolves around overcoming adversity as well as celebrating life’s joy. Ultimately, it is a moving expression of the triumph of the human spirit and the healing power of love.

In recent years, an astounding ten of Barbara Taylor Bradford’s twenty-five novels have been made into television mini-series. They are: A Woman of Substance, Voice of the Heart, Act of Will, Hold the Dream, To Be the Best, Remember, Everything to Gain, Love in Another Town, Her Own Rules and A Secret Affair.

The acting talents who have graced these works are indeed impressive and reflect the integrity of the original published works.

They include Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir John Mills, Jenny Seagrove, Gayle Hunnicut, Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr, James Brolin, Miranda Richardson, Claire Bloom, Ian Richardson, Nigel Havers, Nicola Pagett, Lindsay Wagner, Elizabeth Hurley, Donna Mills, Stephen Collins, Victoria Principal, Samantha Eggar, Jean Simmons, Melissa Gilbert, Leigh Lawson, Charles Shaughnessy, Jack Scalia, Sean Young and Janine Turner.

In 1996, another of Barbara’s novels was dramatized for BBC Radio with an all-star cast including Robin Ellis, Dorothy Tutin, Siam Phillips, Emma Fielding and Nicola Pagett. Her latest film A Secret Affair, based on her novel and shot on locations in Venice and Ireland, aired on the CBS Television network on October 27, 1999. Where You Belong is now in development as a television movie for the CBS television network.

Barbara is a supporter of Arts and Letters through Literacy Partners of New York City and The New York Pops.

Barb dogcouch2Barbara loves her adopted homeland and, in particular, New York. In a landmark building in Manhattan, overlooking the East River, she and Bob live with their two Bichon Frises dogs, Beaji and Chammi, who sit under Barbara’s desk while she writes, as did their predecessor, Gemmy. The view is spectacular but Barbara rarely gets to enjoy it spending as she does up to eight hours a day, five days a week, writing and staring at a blank wall.

When she has time, she prepares special dishes from her native Yorkshire — such as chicken-in-the-pot and cottage pie — for informal dinners for close friends. Their apartment boasts possessions that reflect tastes both passionate and personal, collections of Art Deco antiques and Biedermeier furniture, teapots (one of which was given as a wedding present to her parents in the ’20s), contemporary Impressionist paintings, and Winston Churchill memorabilia — including a letter to her by Clementine Churchill when she was 10.
One of Barbara’s prized possessions is “Susie“, a doll she was given when she was one year old!

Her current novel, Secrets From The Past was published on 28 February 2013 in the UK, and will be released on 9 April in North America.

Legendary novelist, Barbara Taylor Bradford talks about her literary success and her secrets to writing a bestselling novel. The interview clip includes footage from the films based on several of Bradford’s bestselling novels. An excellent piece of writing advice for aspiring novelists.




Woman that Takes Action – Takes a Stand for her Fella Women




Photo Credits, top to bottom:
Barbara with her parents
Barbara photographed on her 21st Birthday
Barbara and Robert (photo by Anita Corbin)
Robert and Barbara Taylor Bradford (photo by Harvey Mann)
Barbara with NY Gov. Mario Cuomo, receiving the 1985 Matrix Award from Women in Communications (photo by Lou Manna Studio)
Barbara Taylor Bradford at her writing desk (photo by Steve Shipman)
Barbara with Gemmy (photo by Cris Alexander)
Barbara with Chammi and Beaji, Palm Beach 1998



A Celebration of Women™

is honored to welcome this woman into our global Alumni with open arms, celebrating all the wonderful work bringing character and culture she has added to our world, her very own legacy to us all.


Brava Barbara!



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