HOUSTON, May 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- John Bradshaw, the New York Times best-selling author, motivational speaker, theologian, family counselor and Emmy-nominated television personality died on Sunday May 8th, 2016 at the age of 82 from heart failure. Mr. Bradshaw's willingness to share his difficult childhood and personal experiences with substance abuse coupled with his warm and winning personality drew millions to read his books, tune into his television and radio appearances and attend his seminars.
Born into a troubled family on June 29, 1933 in Houston, Texas and abandoned by his alcoholic father at a young age, Mr. Bradshaw became both an academic overachiever and an out-of-control teenager. He later studied for the Roman Catholic priesthood at a Basilian seminary where he remained for over nine years, leaving just a few days prior to being ordained. During that time, he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master degrees in psychology, philosophy, and theology from St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He continued his postgraduate studies at Rice University and earned a Masters of Spiritual Psychology at University of Santa Monica.
After his own struggle with drugs and alcohol, Mr. Bradshaw's skill as a powerful and authentic motivational orator was first noticed while speaking at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Word spread throughout Houston and Mr. Bradshaw quickly became a sought-after speaker and therapist. He rose to prominence in the 1970's and 80's as the host of the nationally syndicated PBS series called Bradshaw On: The Family and was later nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host for his series Bradshaw On: Homecoming. Mr. Bradshaw's impressive knowledge and authentic presence made him a media favorite, appearing on over 800 television and radio shows worldwide including Good Morning America, Donahue, and CNN News. Oprah introduced him to her viewers as 'the pied piper leading people in their search for healthy relationships.' Steven Spielberg as an adviser on the contemporary classic, Hook, also hired Mr. Bradshaw.
Mr. Bradshaw authored seven books, including three New York Times Best Sellers. His books have sold over 12½ million copies and are published in 42 different languages. His books are Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child (52 weeks at #1 and 108 additional weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List), Healing the Shame That Binds You (15 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List), Creating Love (7 weeks at #1 and 78 additional weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers List), Bradshaw On: The Family—A Revolutionary Way of Self-Discovery, Family Secrets—What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, Post Romantic Stress Disorder and Reclaiming Virtue.
Mr. Bradshaw is also widely credited with popularizing the terms 'inner child' and 'dysfunctional family' and was elected by his peers as one of the most influential writers on emotional health in the 20th century along with Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell.
John Bradshaw often said, "Recovery begins with embracing our pain and taking the risk to share it with others." Mr. Bradshaw lived by example, and through his honest and dynamic speeches and writings were able to turn his troubled beginnings into a motivational dialogue that touched countless individuals.
Mr. Bradshaw is survived by his wife, Karen Mabray Bradshaw, his children John Bradshaw Jr. and Ariel Harper Bradshaw and two step-children Brad Isaacs and Brenda Isaacs Booth and many extended family and friends around the world.
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SOURCE The Bradshaw Family