William A. Brady

William A. Brady

William Aloysius Brady (June 19, 1863 - January 6, 1950) was an American theatre actor, producer, and sports promoter. [Internet Broadway Database.] [International Boxing Hall of Fame.]

Brady was born to a newspaperman in 1863. His father kidnapped him from San Francisco and brought William to New York City, where his father worked as a writer while William was forced to sell newspapers on street corners. Upon his father's death when William was 15, he hitchhiked his way back to San Francisco. ["American Heritage".]

He made his start on the stage in San Francisco, California shortly after his return. As a callboy in "The White Slave", he filled in a role for an ill actor, and started his career. After a failed attempt to produce a version of "She" by H. Rider Haggard, he was able to secure the rights to "After Dark", successfully bringing the play to New York. While Brady was sued for his efforts, as Augustin Daly claimed plagiarism, Brady was able to make enough money to continue with his theater ventures. [American Heritage]

Brady inadvertently became a boxing promoter during this time. He cast James J. Jeffries in "After Dark", and later introduced the man into the boxing circuit, where Jeffries would eventually become the undisputed heavyweight champion. [American Heritage] Brady would be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998, remaining the only person to manage two undisputed heavyweight champions, in Jeffries and James J. Corbett. [International Boxing Hall of Fame]

Brady ran a successful theatre operation for thirty years, having met actresses like Grace George (whom he later married) [American Heritage] and having, at one point, hired famous humorist Robert Benchley to complete ad copy for him. [Altman.] Brady's success continued until the Stock Market Crash of 1929, which wiped out his entire savings. He was able to secure the funds to produce "Street Scene", which was written by Elmer Rice, won the Pulitzer Prize, and netted Brady a half a million dollars. His total theatrical output included over 260 plays, including a version of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" that was later used as images for a book in 1904, [R. F. Fenno book.] and a number of movies before his death in 1950.

He was the father of actress Mary Rose Brady, who used stage name of Alice Brady, and William A. Brady, Jr.


* "American Heritage": " [http://www.americanheritage.com/articles/magazine/ah/1980/3/1980_3_74.shtml William A. Brady] . April/May 1980. URL accessed 5 June 2007.
* Billy Altman, "Laughter's Gentle Soul: The Life of Robert Benchley". (New York City: W. W. Norton, 1997. ISBN 0393038335).
* "Encyclopedia Brittanica": William A. Brady.
* Internet Broadway Database: [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=14247 William A. Brady] . URL accessed 5 June 2007.
* International Boxing Hall of Fame: [http://www.ibhof.com/brady.htm William A. Brady] . URL accessed 5 June 2007.
* "Uncle Tom's Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly." Embellished with Scenes and Illustrations. New York: R. F. Fenno & Company, 1904.


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