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Obituaries

Madge Bradley; Pioneering Female Judge

March 24, 2000

Madge Bradley, 95, who passed the California bar exam after taking correspondence courses and went on to become San Diego County's first female judge. Bradley was appointed to the bench in 1953 by Republican Gov. Goodwin J. Knight at a time when she couldn't attend the weekly meetings of county judges because the restaurant where they were held refused to serve women. Bradley was born in Mendocino County in 1905, the second-oldest of four children whose parents sold wine grapes. The family moved to Oceanside when Bradley was 6. She graduated from high school, began taking law school correspondence courses from La Salle Extension University in Chicago, and passed the California bar exam in 1933. She was director of the San Diego Bar Assn. for two years in the late 1940s and helped found the Lawyer's Club, a group dedicated to helping female lawyers and judges. She retired in 1971. On Tuesday at Scripps Mercy Hospital after suffering complications from a broken hip.

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