Best selling novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE, was born 10 May 1933 in Leeds, Yorkshire. Fellow Yorkshire writer Alan Bennett attended the same nursery school as Taylor Bradford in the Leeds suburb of Upper Armley. As a child during World War II Taylor Bradford held a jumble sale at her school, and donated the £2 proceeds to the ‘Aid to Russia’ fund. She later received a handwritten thank-you letter from Clementine Churchill, the wife of Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
She decided to be a writer at the age of ten after she sent a story to a magazine.She was paid 7s 6d for the story, with which she bought handkerchiefs and a green vase for her parents. Taylor Bradford left school at 15, and after a spell in the typing pool of the Yorkshire Evening Post, she became a reporter for the newspaper. As a reporter at the post, Taylor Bradford sat alongside Keith Waterhouse. In her youth Taylor Bradford read Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters, Thomas Hardy, and the French novelist and performer Colette. Taylor Bradford regards the Irish historian and author Cornelius Ryan as her literary mentor, Ryan encouraged her writing and was the first person other than her mother that Taylor Bradford told she wanted to be a novelist. Her favourite contemporary authors are P. D. James, Bernard Cornwell and Ruth Rendell
Taylor Bradford moved to London at the age of 20 as the fashion editor of Woman’s Own magazine, and would later work as a columnist on the London Evening News.Taylor Bradford later had a column on interior decoration that was syndicated to 183 newspapers.Taylor Bradford’s first efforts at fiction writing were with four suspense novels, which she later abandoned. However Her debut novel, A Woman of Substance, which was published in 1979, became an enduring best seller. She also fictionalise her parent’s marriage in the 1986 novel, An Act of Will.
Taylor Bradford is married to, American film producer Robert Bradford, whom she met on a blind date in 1961 after being introduced by the English screenwriter Jack Davies. They married on Christmas Eve in 1963, and the couple moved permanently to the United States. She has been an American citizen since 1992. Barbara and Robert Bradford live in Manhattan in New York City. The couple have no children. They married on Christmas Eve in 1963, and the couple moved permanently to the United States. She has been an American citizen since 1992. Barbara and Robert Bradford live in Manhattan in New York City. The couple have no children.
Taylor Bradford has been awarded honorary doctorate from Leeds University, the University of Bradford, Mount St. Mary’s College, Sienna College and Post University in Connecticut. Taylor Bradford was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours list for her contributions to literature. Her original manuscripts are archived at the Brotherton Library at Leeds University beside those of the Brontë sisters. To date she has written 29 best selling novels Which have sold more than ninety-two million copies worldwide in more than ninety countries and forty languages. Ten of her books have been made into television mini-series and television movies, produced by her husband, Robert Bradford. Five of her television adaptations were also re-released on DVD and bluRay Including A Woman of Substance; Hold The Dream; To Be The Best; Act of Will and Voice of the Heart.