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John Bradshaw (author) facts for kids

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John Elliot Bradshaw (June 29, 1933 – May 8, 2016) was an American educator, counselor, motivational speaker, and author who hosted a number of PBS television programs. Bradshaw was active in the self-help movement, and was credited with popularizing such ideas as the "wounded inner child" and the dysfunctional family. In promotional materials, interviews, and reviews of his work, he was often referred to as a theologian.

Bradshaw was the author of six books, several of which held top slots as New York Times bestsellers; his book Homecoming reached No. 1. During the 1980s and 1990s he hosted a number of PBS television broadcasts based on his books. He served as the national director of the John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital in Los Angeles, California.

Early life

Bradshaw was born in Houston, Texas, into a troubled family and was abandoned by his father, who himself was also abandoned by his own father. Bradshaw won scholarships to study for the Roman Catholic priesthood. He earned a B.A. degree in Sacred Theology and an M.A. degree in philosophy from the University of Toronto in Canada. He graduated in 1963 and then returned to academia six years later at Rice University in Houston, Texas, for three years of graduate work in psychology and religion.


Throughout the 1970s, John Bradshaw served as a management consultant at Drillco Manufacturing Company and as a leadership trainer at Denka Chemical Company. He was also director of human resources and served on the board of directors of Texas General Oil Company. Bradshaw was the developer and presenter of workshops for forty Fortune 500 companies and thousands of evolved non-profits and for-profit institutions.

Bradshaw was the author of six books, three of which are New York Times Best Sellers. His work sold over 10 million copies and was published in 42 languages. His final book, Post-Romantic Stress Disorder, was published by Health Communications in 2014. In 1999, Bradshaw was nominated by a group of his peers as "One Of The 100 Most Influential Writers On Emotional Health in the 20th Century."

In 1991, Bradshaw won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host for his series Bradshaw On: Homecoming. He also appeared on Oprah, Geraldo, Sally, Dr. Ruth, Tom Snyder, Donahue, Politically Incorrect, CNN-Talk Back Live, and Sirius Radio.

He presented lectures and workshops for educational, professional and social organizations starting in 1964. He served in various organizations, such as: national director of Life-Plus Co-Dependency Treatment Center (1987–1990); founder and national director of the John Bradshaw Center at Ingleside Hospital in Los Angeles (1991–1997); and member, national board of directors, of The International Montessori Society (1990–2016). He was an honorary lifetime board member of the Council on Alcohol and Drugs in Houston. Starting in 1999, Bradshaw was a senior fellow at The Meadows Institute.

Personal life

Bradshaw resided in the Shadyside subdivision of Houston, Texas, with his wife, Karen.


On May 8, 2016, Bradshaw died of heart failure at the age of 82 and left behind his wife and partner of 20 years, Karen Ann Bradshaw, and two children, John Bradshaw, Jr, and Ariel Harper Bradshaw.

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