Brown, Ronald Harmon, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
7 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1203-Tank Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Armor (Officer)
Primary Unit
1966-1967, 7th Infantry Division
Service Years
1962 - 1967
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate



 Last Photo   Personal Details 

26 kb

Home State
District Of Columbia
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by the Site Administrator to remember Brown, Ronald Harmon, CPT.
Contact Info
Home Town
Washington, DC
Last Address
Washington, DC

Date of Passing
Apr 03, 1996
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

Armor Shoulder Cord Army Honorable Discharge (1984-Present) Cold War Medal Cold War Veteran

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Ronald Harmon "Ron" Brown (August 1, 1941 – April 3, 1996) was the United States Secretary of Commerce, serving during the first term of President Bill Clinton. He was the first African American to hold this position. He was killed, along with 34 others, in a 1996 plane crash in Croatia.

Early life and political career

He was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Harlem, New York, in a middle-class family. He was a member of the African-American social and philanthropic organization, Jack and Jill of America, where he met many African-American friends. Brown attended Hunter College Elementary School and Rhodes Preparatory School. His father managed the Theresa Hotel in Harlem, where Ron lived growing up. His best friend John R. Nailor moved into the penthouse while a student at Rhodes. Nailor was one of the other few black students who attended Rhodes Prep. As a child, he appeared in an advertisement for Pepsi-Cola, one of the first to be targeted specifically towards the African-American community.

While at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, Ron Brown became the first African-American member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a national men's collegiate fraternity. Brown joined the army in 1962, after graduating from Middlebury, and served in South Korea and Europe, the same year he married Alma Arrington. 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 on February 10, 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.


Honors and Legacy

On January 8, 2001, Brown was presented, posthumously, with the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Bill Clinton. The award was accepted by Brown's widow, Alma Brown. President Clinton also established the Ron Brown Award for corporate leadership and responsibility. The Conference Board administers the privately funded award. The U.S. Department of Commerce also gives out the annual Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award in his honor. The California Black Chamber of Commerce, every August, holds the Ron Brown Business Economic Summit.

Many academic scholarships and programs have been established to honor Brown. St. John's University School of Law established the The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights and Economic Development in memorial. The Ronald H. Brown fellowship is awarded annually to many students at Middlebury College to pursue research internships in science and technology, and the Ron Brown Scholar Program was established in Brown's honor in 1996 to provide academic scholarships, service opportunities and leadership experiences for young African Americans of outstanding promise.

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.

In March, 2011 the new United States Mission to the United Nations building in New York City was named in Brown's honor and dedicated at a ceremony in which President Obama, former President Clinton and the United States representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Susan Rice, spoke.

His son Michael Brown was elected to the Council of the District of Columbia in 2008.

Other Comments:
Not Specified
 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

 Unit Assignments
HQ, US Army Cadet Command3rd Armored Division7th Infantry Division
  1958-1962, HQ, US Army Cadet Command
  1962-1965, 3rd Armored Division
  1966-1967, 7th Infantry Division
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Operation Jilli (North Korea)
 Colleges Attended 
Middlebury CollegeSaint John's College
  1958-1962, Middlebury College
  1967-1970, Saint John's College
Copyright Inc 2003-2011