Sunday, November 16, 2014
Ron Brown-1st A.A United States Secretary of Commerce
Ronald Harmon "Ron" Brown was the United States Secretary of Commerce, serving during the first term of President Bill Clinton. He was the 1st African American to hold this position. Brown was born in Washington, D.C., and was raised in Harlem, New York, in a middle-class family. He was a member of an African-American social and philanthropic organization, Jack and Jill of America. Brown attended Hunter College Elementary School and Rhodes Preparatory School. As a child, Brown appeared in an advertisement for Pepsi-Cola, one of the first to be targeted specifically towards the African-American community. Ron Brown became the 1st African-American member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, a national men's collegiate fraternity. Brown joined the United States Army in 1962, after graduating from Middlebury, 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. 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 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.