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Politician 'Ronald H. Brown'

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    Ronald Harmon Brown [Image:RonBrownUS.JPG] (8/1/1941 – 4/3/1996) was the United States Secretary of Commerce, serving during the first term of President
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 25, 2007
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      Ronald Harmon Brown


      (8/1/1941 – 4/3/1996) was the United States
      Secretary of Commerce, serving during the
      first term of President William J. Clinton.

      He was the first person to hold this position who
      was also of the
      African-American Ethnic Group.

      He was born in Washington , D.C. , and
      was then raised in Harlem , New York , in a
      middle-class family of
      Mixed-Race Lineage.

      Brown attended Hunter College Elementary
      School and Rhodes Preparatory School .

      Ron Brown was the first person of the
      African-American Ethnic Group to
      become a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon,
      a national men's collegiate fraternity.
      Upon learning of Brown's membership, the National
      Headquarters of Sigma Epsilon demanded that the
      chapter expel him or face closure of the chapter.
      The chapter declined to remove Brown
      and was shut down by the national
      organization, but was later re-opened.

      Brown joined the army in 1962, after graduating
      from Middlebury College in Vermont ,
      and served in South Korea and Europe .

      After being discharged in 1967, Brown
      joined the
      National Urban League, a leading
      economic-equality group in the United States .

      Meanwhile, Brown enrolled in law school at St.
      John's University and obtained a degree in 1970.

      Rising star in the Democratic Party

      By 1976, Brown had been promoted to Deputy
      Executive Director for Programs and Governmental
      Affairs of the National Urban League.

      However, he resigned in 1979 to work as
      a deputy campaign manager for Senator
      Edward M. Kennedy, who sought the
      Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

      Brown was hired in 1981 by the Washington ,
      D.C. , law firm Patton, Boggs & Blow as
      a lawyer and a lobbyist.

      In May, 1988, Brown was named by Jesse L.
      Jackson to head Jackson 's convention team
      at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta .

      Brown was named along with several
      other experienced party insiders to
      Jackson 's convention operation.

      By June, it was apparent that Brown
      was also running Jackson 's campaign.

      Brown was elected chairman of the Democratic
      National Committee in 1989, and played an
      integral role in running a successful 1992
      Democratic National Convention and in Bill
      Clinton's successful 1992 presidential run.

      President Clinton then appointed Brown to the
      position of Secretary of Commerce in 1993.


      On April 3, 1996, while on an official trade mission,
      the Air Force CT-43 (a modified Boeing 737) carrying
      Brown and 34 other people, including New York
      Times Frankfurt Bureau chief Nathaniel C. Nash,
      crashed in Croatia . While attempting an instrument
      approach to Èilipi airport, the airplane crashed
      into a mountainside killing everyone onboard.

      TSgt Shelly Kelly initially survived the crash
      only to die from her wounds hours later
      while being transported off the mountain.

      Speculations as to the circumstances surrounding the
      plane crash that caused Brown's death have included
      many government cover-up and conspiracy theories.

      The official U.S. Air Force report

      The official Air Force accident investigation
      board report noted several reasons that led to the
      CT-43, formerly a training aircraft that had been
      converted to distinguished visitor travel, to crash.

      Chief among the findings was a "failure of
      command, aircrew error and an improperly
      designed instrument approach procedure".

      Notably the inclement weather was not deemed
      a substantial contributing factor in the crash.


      President Clinton established the Ron Brown
      for corporate leadership and responsibility.

      The Conference Board administers
      the privately funded award.

      U.S. Department of Commerce also
      gives out the annual
      Ronald H. Brown
      American Innovator Award
      in his honor.

      The largest ship in the
      NOAA fleet, the NOAA
      Ship Ronald H. Brown
      , was named in honor
      of his public service not long after his death.


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