Yorkshire-born novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford's husband dies in Manhattan

The husband of Yorkshire-born novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE has died aged 92.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 4:23 pm
Barbara Taylor Bradford with her husband Robert, who has died at the age of 92.

Robert Bradford died in the early hours of Tuesday in New York’s Presbyterian Hospital with his beloved wife of 55 years by his side.

Mr Bradford, known commonly as Bob, was in hospital for one week after suffering a stroke at their Manhattan home, according to the couple’s spokeswoman.

Leeds-born Ms Taylor Bradford, who comes from Upper Armley, fell in love with her husband – a debonair German-born and French-educated American film producer – on their first date.

They married in London on Christmas Eve, 1963.

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When Ms Taylor Bradford finished her best-selling first novel A Woman of Substance, published in 1979, she began a long tradition of dedicating each of her books to her husband, who oversaw and handled her various business interests worldwide.

Piers Dudgeon, author of the biography The Woman of Substance: The Life and Works of Barbara Taylor Bradford, became friends with the couple.

Paying tribute to Mr Bradford, he today told The Yorkshire Post: “He was a lovely man – that’s the first thing. He really was genuinely a fine and really pleasant gentleman.

“He had a difficult childhood, he came out of Germany really just as the Nazi regime was biting, as a child of eight, I think.”

Mr Dudgeon said that Ms Taylor Bradford took influence from her husband when writing.

He said: “She drew on Bob’s persona, really, as Maximilian West in The Women in His Life. You get a picture of the kind of tussle he had with life.”

But said he was “behind a lot of her success”.

Mr Dudgeon added: “They had a tremendously close relationship. They wanted to be together all the time and they were together all the time.”

The couple have many friends in Manhattan and Europe, he said, and Ms Taylor Bradford, 86, visits Yorkshire once a year.

“Nobody who works with Bob or Barbara leaves them behind,” he said.