AKA Thomas Wardell Braden, Sr.
Birthplace: Greene, IA
Location of death: Denver, CO
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Columnist, Pundit
Party Affiliation: Democratic
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Crossfire, Eight Is Enough
Military service: British Army (1940); US Army
Born in 1917, Tom Braden never graduated high school but attended Dartmouth, graduating in 1940. As the United States was neutral, he immediately enlisted in the British Army. In 1942, he was recruited by the OSS, predecessor to the CIA, for undercover operations in France behind enemy lines. When that agency was disbanded, he and Stewart Alsop wrote Sub Rosa: The OSS and American Espionage. In 1950-54, Braden was employed by the CIA and worked in the Office of Policy Coordination, funneling money to international individuals and organizations.
The 1960s Braden spent involved running a newspaper, the Oceanside Blade-Tribune. The $100,000 he borrowed from Nelson Rockefeller to buy the newspaper was more than paid back when he sold it a decade later for over $1M. He dabbled in Democratic politics, long serving as President of the California Board of Education. His 1975 memoir, Eight Is Enough, became the loose basis for a television show of the same name, starring Dick Van Patten. Unfortunately, he had sold the rights to the book for only $1000, perhaps underestimating America's appetite for schmaltzy family programming.
A known figure on the left, Braden was chosen to be half of Confrontation, a radio debate program. In 1982 he moved to television, representing the left again on Crossfire. He left the show in 1989, and Michael Kinsley assumed his place. Braden and his wife Joan shared an open marriage, documented in her tell-all memoir, Just Enough Rope. Her sex life seems to have been considerably more interesting than his. She died in 1999, and he died ten years later at the age of 92.
Wife: Joan Ridley Braden (m. 1948, d. 29-Aug-1999 heart attack)
Son: David Braden
Daughter: Mary Poole
Daughter: Susan Braden
Daughter: Joannie Braden
Daughter: Nancy Basta
Daughter: Elizabeth Braden
Son: Tom Braden, Jr. (d. 1994)
Son: Nicholas Braden
High School: (dropped out)
University: Dartmouth College (1940)
Teacher: Dartmouth College
The Los Angeles Times Columnist (1968-)
Oceanside Blade-Tribune Editor/Publisher (1954-68)
California State Official President, Board of Education
CIA employee International Organizations Division (1950-54)
Crossfire Co-Host (1982-89)
Eight Is Enough Original Memoir
Author of books:
Sub Rosa: The O.S.S. and American Espionage (1964, with Stewart Alsop)
Eight Is Enough (1975, memoir)
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