|2nd United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs|
January 22, 1993 – July 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Edward J. Derwinski|
|Succeeded by||Togo D. West, Jr.|
March 27, 1944|
|Died||August 15, 2002
|Alma mater||City Colleges of Chicago|
|Service/branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Years of service||1963 - 1965|
Jesse Brown was born on March 27, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, to Lucille Marsh Brown and David Brown but grew up in Chicago. He attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and Roosevelt University in Chicago, and graduated from the City Colleges of Chicago.
He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1963, and served as a Marine in the Vietnam War, reaching the rank of Corporal. He was seriously injured in 1965 near Da Nang — his right arm shattered and partially paralyzed.
In 1967, Brown joined the staff of Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a service and advocacy organization. He served in various supervisory roles with the DAV in the 1970s and 1980s:
- 1973 — supervisor of National Service Office in Washington, D.C.
- 1976 — supervisor of National Appeals Office
- 1981 — Chief of Claims, National Service and Legislative Headquarters
- 1983 — Deputy National Service Director
In 1989, Brown became the DAV's first African-American director, serving until 1993.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
In January 1993, Brown was selected by President Bill Clinton to the post of Secretary of Veterans Affairs, serving until 1997. He was the first African American to hold that post. During his tenure, Brown expanded the services offered to female veterans, homeless veterans and veterans who were ill due to chemical exposures in Vietnam or the Gulf War. After he resigned as Secretary, Brown founded a consulting firm, Brown and Associates.
Brown died in Warrenton, Virginia on August 15, 2002 of lower motor neuron syndrome — being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, since 1999. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
- Barringer, Felicty (December 18, 1992). "The Transition:Clinton Selects Ex-Mayor for H.U.D. and an Ex-Marine for Veterans Affairs; Defender of the Rights of Veterans Masters Thickets of Regulations". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- Jesse Brown, former secretary of Veterans Affairs, succumbs at 58 - National Report. Jet. September 2, 2002. Accessed 25 December 2007.
- Arlington Cemetery profile.
- "Jesse Brown - Corporal, United States Marine Corps - Secretary of Veterans Affairs". ArlingtonCemetery.net. 23 April 2006. Retrieved 2008-02-15.
- "Jesse Brown, 58, Ex-Marine Who Headed Veterans Dept.". New York Times. August 17, 2002. Retrieved 2008-08-19.
- "Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program". Disabled American Veterans. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
Edward J. Derwinski
|U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Served under: Bill Clinton
Togo D. West, Jr.