Born in Columbus, Indiana. Married to Jean Lambert. Attended the University of Indiana and Northwestern University. Employed with the Chicago Tribune in 1928.
Served as president of the Chicago Coin Club 1955 to 1956 and received their Medal of Merit in 1958. He was the founder and first editor for The Centinel, journal of the CSNS, 1954 to 1963. Since 1969 the CSNC has presented the Elston Bradfield Literary Award for the best article in The Centinel.
He served as temporary editor of The Numismatist when Stuart Mosher became ill in 1953. He officially replaced Mosher in January 1954. He was editor of an ANA pamphlet Introduction to Numismatics.
Received ANA Medal of Merit in 1953. Named a Numismatic Ambassador in 1975. He received the ANA Farran Zerbe Memorial Award in 1963. He resigned in 1966 to be replaced by Glenn Smedley. Bradfield coins were included in a Katen sale in 1972.
He died in a hospital in Chicago. In 1982 he was elected to the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame.
obit: CW 8/31/1977; nn 8/27/1977; NUM 90 Oct 1977 page 2038
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Introduction to Numismatics: A Symposium by Elston G. Bradfield and Glenn B. Smedley.