Palmer Bradley, attorney and businessman, was born in Tioga, Texas, on December 12, 1894, the son of Robert L. and Mary (Boxley) Bradley. About 1900 the family moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where Bradley attended public schools before entering the University of Texas in 1912; he received a B.A. degree from there in 1916. He served as a first lieutenant in the Forty-second Field Artillery during World War I, then returned to the University of Texas and received a law degree in 1919. The following year he moved to Houston to join the law firm that later became Andrews, Kurth, Campbell, and Jones. Except for military service in World War II, when he served as commanding officer of the pilot school at the Pre-Flight Training School in Santa Ana, California, Bradley practiced law with this firm until his death.
In 1929 Bradley, an authority on oil and gas law, helped organize the parent company of the General Crude Oil Company in Houston; for many years he served as one of its directors. He also helped organize the Southern National Bank of Houston in 1960 and was chairman of its board for several years. He was a director of Trans-World Airlines for a number of years after World War II.
He won a number of tennis titles in Texas and New Mexico and in 1931 helped found the River Oaks Tennis Tournament, an annual event that grew to international significance. Bradley was an avid collector of books and had a wide-ranging knowledge of Civil War history. He acquired an excellent collection of books on this period. He was a member of the Texas State Historical Association and contributed numerous articles to the Handbook of Texas. He served for many years as chairman of the Houston chapter of the Civil War Round Table. He married Genevra Harris in Nacogdoches, Texas, on February 24, 1921; they had two children. He died on June 13, 1968, and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery in Houston.