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Cricketer, Sporting Personality & Writer
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permission: contact the Mortlock Library of South Australiana
Image Number B7171
Donald George Bradman was born at Cootamundra, NSW, on 27 August 1908 and
died on February 25 2001. The Bradman family moved to Bowral in 1911, a district
where cricket was a popular sport. Young Bradman showed an early interest, and
at the age of twelve scored his first century for Bowral High School. He scored
his first century against another state when selected to play for the Sydney
club St George in the Sheffield Shield side in 1926; and against England in the
1928-1929 Test Series. Bradman captained the Australian side for the 1938 tour
of England, where he scored his third consecutive double century, and was
presented with a Royal Worcester porcelain vase, a unique trophy of which he is
still immensely proud. Interrupted by World War II, Bradman returned to cricket,
as Australian captain, in the triumphant 1948 tour of England – every game
played was a win for Australia. In the same year he announced his retirement.
Bradman's overall performance in Shield and Test cricket is without parallel.
His total of 117 first-class centuries (including 37 double centuries) is still
a record for any Australian. He served on the Cricket Committee of the SACA for
26 years, was President for 8 years, a Trustee for 39 years, and a State and
Australian selector for 33 years.
Bradman was knighted in 1949 for his services to cricket and Commonwealth
relations, and he was created Companion of the Order of Australia in 1979.
"Farewell to cricket", Bradman's autobiography, was published in 1950, and two
instructional books on the game of cricket in 1935 and 1958.
"Bradman was – and is – "The Don": the adored hero, almost demi-god, of the
cricket field, against whom all other batsmen have been measured and found
wanting…More than thirty years after he stepped down from the pinnacle of fame,
his fan mail is still enormous: much larger than is received by the usual public
figure. A revealing point is that countless letters arrive from people who were
not even born when he was playing first-class cricket. The legend is so potent
that it continuously renews the world's curiosity and interest."[M.F. Page.
Bradman, the illustrated biography, p.346.]
Don Bradman married Jessie Menzies (d. 1997) on 30 April 1932; they had one son
and one daughter.
Image and content courtesy of
the State Library of South Australia