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The Honorable Les Brown

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Information about The Honorable Les Brown

Profile image of The Honorable Les Brown

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
Stand Up For What You Believe In Because You Can Fall For Anything.

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1945
Birth Location:
Miami, Florida

Profession

Category:
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Pie (Sweet Potato)
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
New York, New York
Favorite Quote:
Stand Up For What You Believe In Because You Can Fall For Anything.

Birthplace

Born:
2/17/1945
Birth Location:
Miami
See how The Honorable Les Brown is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Motivational speaker Les Brown was born Leslie Calvin Brown on February 17, 1945, in Miami, Florida. After giving birth to Brown and his twin brother, Wes, on the floor of an abandoned building, Brown’s biological mother gave her sons up for adoption when they were six weeks old to Mrs. Mamie Brown. When he was in fifth grade, Brown was forced back a grade by the school’s principal after being disruptive in class. Brown’s demotion subsequently led him to being placed in special education classes and labeled as mentally retarded. As an adolescent, Brown attended Booker T. Washington High School where he was influenced by a speech and drama instructor who encouraged him to pursue a career in radio broadcasting.

After graduating from high school and briefly working for the Department of Sanitation, Brown worked as an errand boy for a Miami Beach radio station. At the station, Brown observed the disc jockeys with hopes of one day becoming an on-air personality. His break came when one of the disc jockeys became inebriated. Brown stood in for him and then was hired as a disc jockey. In the late 1960s, Brown moved to Columbus, Ohio, to work for WVKO Radio, where he became active in the community. Brown’s political activism in Columbus won him a seat with the 29th House District of the Ohio State Legislature. In his first year, Brown passed more legislature than any other freshman representative in Ohio State legislative history. In his third term, Brown served as chair of the Human Resources Committee.

In 1981, Brown left the Ohio State House of Representatives to care for his ailing mother back in Florida. While in Miami, he continued to focus on social issues by developing a youth center training program. In 1986, Brown entered the public speaking arena on a full time basis and formed Les Brown Enterprises, Inc. In 1989, Brown received the National Speakers Association’s highest award, the Council of Peers Award of Excellence (CPAE). In 1990, Brown recorded the Emmy Award-winning series of speeches entitled You Deserve, which became the lead fundraising program of its kind for pledges to PBS stations nationwide. In 1991, Toastmasters International selected Brown as one of the world’s best speakers and awarded him the Golden Gavel Award.

Brown ranks amongst the nation’s leading authorities in understanding and stimulating human potential; he is a featured guest on many radio broadcasting stations and is often hired by professional corporations to teach and inspire new levels of achievement.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Les Brown's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Les Brown lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his adoption
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about his learning disability
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about his adopted sister, Margaret Ann Sampson
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers his mother's arrest
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers his godmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his early influences
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the Overtown neighborhood in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the sights of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his introduction to motivational speaking
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the smells and sounds of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his early aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 16 - The Honorable Les Brown lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 17 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers Douglas Elementary School in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his early mentors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Les Brown describes segregation in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his brief involvement in football
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his twin brother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his start as a radio disk jockey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers working for WMBM Radio in Miami Beach, Florida
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls transitioning to WVKO Radio in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his start at WVKO Radio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the qualities of a successful disk jockey
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the African American radio community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls the conservative attitudes in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his early community organizing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about police brutality
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his termination from WVKO Radio in Columbus, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers becoming the program director of WVKO Radio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls running for the Ohio General Assembly
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers C.J. McLin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers retiring from the Ohio General Assembly
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls studying the oratory of Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers lessons from his time as a state legislator
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls building alliances as a state legislator
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about political campaigning in the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about political campaigning in the white community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers protesting against police brutality
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls founding the Les Brown Youth Enrichment Seminar, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls founding the Les Brown Youth Enrichment Seminar, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls joining WEDR radio in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls the Liberty City uprisings in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls being targeted by the state attorney general
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about the Les Brown Youth Enrichment Seminar
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers the mentorship of Mike Williams
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the influence of Mike Williams
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls the encouragement of Horace Perkins
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about his relationship with Mike Williams
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the black community in Miami, Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Les Brown describes Miami's African American political leadership
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers his program for African American and Haitian children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls working with Clarence King in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his decision to become a motivational speaker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls training as a motivational speaker
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about his honors and awards
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Les Brown talks about his success as a motivational speaker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his oratorical strategies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Les Brown remembers funding his early speaking career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls opening an office in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Les Brown describes the motivational speaking industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his speech writing technique
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his experiences of discrimination as a motivational speaker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - The Honorable Les Brown describes his advantages as a motivational speaker
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - The Honorable Les Brown recalls his appearances on PBS