Vice-president Paul W. Bradford

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Vice-President Paul W. Bradford

Vice-President Paul W. Bradford

After 11 Rue Scribe, 6 Haymarket in London is the largest and most important American Express office abroad. From it is managed all the great business of American Express in England, which includes maintaining offices at American Air Forces bases for the convenience of our troops stationed there. Until recently it was in charge of Vice-President Paul W. Bradford.

Bradford a typical American Express career man and is slim and blond, with an engaging personality. He joined the company in 1920 and attended the first training school in San Francisco, where his initiation into the business was unexpectedly exciting. While he was a teller in the San Francisco office, a bandit attempted to hold him up. Bradford stalled for a few moments until the gunman was momentarily distracted. In that instant of inattention, Bradford leaped to the back of the office and seized a revolver. As the bandit fled through the front door, Bradford dashed out the side entrance. He caught his quarry in mid-flight, stuck his revolver in the man's back, and triumphantly turned him over to the police.

From San Francisco, Bradford was sent to Japan for further training and then to Calcutta. He became manager of that office at the age of twenty-five, the youngest manager American Express ever had. A few years later he was appointed manager in Shanghai.

During the years of peace Bradford led a colourful and exciting life in the East. He was a crack polo player, and his prowess with a rifle led to frequent invitations from Indian maharajas for hunting trips.

The outbreak of World War II found Bradford back in Calcutta. As the Japanese pressed close to India, he became supply officer for the Flying Tigers and is the only civilian entitled to wear the famous Flying Tiger emblem, which was presented to him by General Chennault.

In 1942, Bradford came back to America carrying secret dispatches from Chennault. American Express loaned him to the Lend-Lease Administration, where he served as executive officer.

In 1946, Reed appointed Bradford general manager for Great Britain and Eire. Arriving in London, Bradford found that 6 Haymarket had been gutted by bombs. Only three rooms were usable, and the entire American Express staff in England consisted of thirty-five employees. The British man-power shortage made it almost impossible to get additional help, so Bradford put on overalls and with the help of Reginald Prudence, the faithful janitor, went to work on the clean-up job himself. Incidentally, during the war Prudence saved the American Express buildings in London six times by going on the roof at great personal risk to fight fires caused by incendiary bombs.

As conditions in Great Britain gradually returned to normal, Bradford built up the American Express organization there until it now counts fifteen offices and nearly six hundred employees.

In June 1950, President Reed brought Bradford back to headquarters in New York as co-ordinator of sales. His job is to increase sales throughout the world. Because of his wide experience and wealth of new ideas he is immensely valuable to the organization. Replacing Bradford in London, the general manager at 6 Haymarket is now George M. Shirey.


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What next? American Express in Europe

American Express in Europe

Almost any traveller who avails himself of the American Express Travel Service in going abroad (and a great number who don't) will at some time enter the most famous of all American Express offices at 11 Rue Scribe in Paris. It has been the chosen meeting place of Americans travelling abroad for more than fifty years. On one day in the summer of 1949, more than 8,000 American Travellers visited this office. Despite its spacious rooms, 11 Rue Scribe presented a rather more congested aspect than a five o'clock subway express. In 1950, the Paris office was completely redesigned to handle even larger crowds comfortably.

Vice-President and General Manager Harry A. Hill makes his headquarters at 11 Rue Scribe. Hill's distinguished international career has spanned a varied field.. With a background of culture that includes the study of law at the University of Athens and a deep interest in archaeology, he has been active in diplomatic and welfare work.... see: American Express in Europe


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