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Robert "Buck" Brown

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Information about Robert "Buck" Brown

Profile image of Robert "Buck" Brown

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Painter
Cartoonist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/3/1936
Birth Location:
Morrison, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Painter
Cartoonist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Jamaica
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
2/3/1936
Birth Location:
Morrison
See how Robert "Buck" Brown is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Cartoonist and painter, Robert “Buck” Brown was born Bobby Brown on February 3, 1936 in the “Browntown” suburb of Morrison, Tennessee. His parents, Doris Lemmings Brown and WPA worker Michael Fate Brown, separated when Brown was five years old. Moving to Chicago, Brown attended A.O. Sexton Elementary School and Englewood High School. At Englewood, Brown placed second in an art contest where the winner was sculptor, Richard Hunt. Brown graduated from Englewood High School in 1954. In 1955, Brown joined the United States Air Force and gained notoriety for his cartoons. By 1958, Brown was attending art classes at Wilson Junior College, driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus and sketching the dramas of everyday life. Attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brown submitted his cartoons to various publications, and one was accepted by Hugh Hefner of Playboy magazine in 1961. Brown graduated with a B.F.A. degree in 1966.

After nearly fifty years, Brown was best known for his cartoons painted in acrylic colors. His famous naughty "Granny" became a permanent fixture in Playboy magazine. Brown, whose fame came at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, drew more white characters than black ones. However, Brown often depicted establishment types, like the U.S. Cavalry besieged by Indians or other people of color.

Brown not only made a name for himself as a cartoonist but also as a painter of humorous paintings. Some of his paintings were part of Bill and Camille Cosby’s art collection. Another celebrity singer, Johnny Mathis, had a wall in his office covered with Brown’s golf cartoons. His cartoons and illustrations had also appeared in Ebony, Ebony Junior, Jet and Esquire magazines.

Brown passed away on Monday, July 2, 2007 at age 71.

See how Robert "Buck" Brown is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Robert "Buck" Brown's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown lists his favorites, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown lists his favorites, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about his relationship with Alex Haley
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers his paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his family's work
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his childhood in Morrison, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls listening to the radio with his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about haints in Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers his early interest in drawing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his father's service in World War I
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his parents' marriage and separation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers the segregated South Side of Chicago
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers listening to the radio with his brother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers Chicago's Austin O. Sexton Elementary School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls Englewood High School, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his artwork in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls Englewood High School, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers working with Hugh Hefner at Playboy magazine
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers living on his own from sixteen years old
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers his decision to join the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers leaving the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls drawing a caricature of his commanding officer, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls drawing a caricature of his commanding officer, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers working for the Chicago Transit Authority, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown remembers working for the Chicago Transit Authority, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls attending Chicago's Woodrow Wilson Junior College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls how he began working for Playboy magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his style of painting for Playboy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown recalls attending the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about why he left Playboy magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his retirement from Playboy magazine
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes the creation of the Granny comic strip
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon the reception of his cartoons, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon the reception of his cartoons, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes racial discrimination in the cartoon industry, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes racial discrimination in the cartoon industry, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his work with Ebony Jr.! magazine
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his work under affirmative action
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon the career of artist Leroy Neiman
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his body of work
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Robert "Buck" Brown talks about his favorite cartoonists
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Robert "Buck" Brown reflects upon his career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Robert "Buck" Brown describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Robert "Buck" Brown narrates his photographs