Ron Brown biography
Ronald H. Brown was born on August 1, 1941, in Washington, D.C. Defying racial barriers, he established a career in law and worked as a National Urban League lobbyist before becoming chairperson of the Democratic National Committee. In 1993, he became the secretary of commerce under the administration of President Bill Clinton. Brown was killed in a plane crash in the Balkans in 1996.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ronald Harmon Brown was born on August 1, 1941, in Washington, D.C. Raised in Harlem, New York, Brown graduated from Vermont's Middlebury College. He joined the Army in 1962 and served four years in South Korea and Germany. Upon his return home, Brown joined the National Urban League and earned his law degree from St. John's University while working as a welfare caseworker for the City of New York.
Ron Brown was a champion of civil rights as Deputy Executive Director, General Counsel and Vice President for Washington operations for the National Urban League. He resigned his posts in 1979 to serve as a deputy campaign manager for Senator Edward M. Kennedy's Democratic presidential bid. He also served as chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Kennedy. After working as a lawyer and lobbyist for the Washington, D.C., law firm Patton, Boggs & Blow in the 1980s, Brown was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 1989.
Brown was a key player in Bill Clinton's successful bid for the presidency in 1992 and was subsequently appointed Secretary of Commerce in 1993. He was the first African American to hold this title. During his tenure, Brown made it his mission to generate jobs and provide opportunities for ordinary Americans.