Henry Bowman Brady was born in Gateshead in February 1835. His father was a Doctor and keen naturalist. One of his brothers was George S Brady, who went on to achieve recognition for his work on Ostracods. Henry was educated at Quaker Schools (Ackworth & Tulketh Hall).
After school, he studied pharmacy at Newcastle College of Medicine. On graduation, he set himself up as a pharmacist in Newcastle where he stayed for many years. He contributed to the foundation of the British Pharmaceutical Congress, and was treasurer for a number of years. He was also a member of the council of the Pharmaceutical Society, and was a regular contributor to the Pharmaceutical Journal.
He lectured in Botany at the Durham College of Medicine, and he worked as a pharmacist in Newcastle upon Tyne between 1855 to 1876.
He published many papers on the Foraminifera, and perhaps most significantly published the report on the Foraminifera collected / dredged up by HMS Challenger. The report was a model of clarity and presentation. He was a Fellow of the Linnean Society, Geological Society and the Royal Society, He was awarded an honorary doctorate Aberdeen Univeristy.
He was a keen traveler, and twice went around the world. On his last trip, he contracted an infection (dropsy) and when he returned to the U.K. he took up residence in Bournemouth, where he later died of bronchitis in January 1891.