Lee P. Brown
|Lee P. Brown|
|3rd Director of National Drug Control Policy|
January, 1993 – December 12, 1995
|Preceded by||Bob Martinez|
|Succeeded by||Barry McCaffrey|
|59th Mayor of Houston|
January 2, 1998 – January 2, 2004
|Preceded by||Bob Lanier|
|Succeeded by||Bill White|
October 4, 1937 |
|Alma mater||Fresno State University
San José State University
University of California, Berkeley
|Profession||Criminologist, Educator, Security Consultant|
Lee Patrick Brown (born October 4, 1937) had a long-time career in law enforcement, leading police departments in Atlanta, Houston and New York over the course of nearly four decades. During this time he helped to implement a number of techniques in community policing that appeared to result in substantial decreases in crime. In 1997 Brown was the first African American to be elected mayor of Houston, Texas. He was reelected twice to serve the maximum of three terms from 1998 to 2004.
Background and education 
His parents Andrew and Zelma Brown were share croppers in Oklahoma, and Lee Brown was born in Wewoka. His family, including six brothers, moved to California in the second wave of the Great Migration and his parents continued as farmers. A high school athlete, Brown earned a football scholarship to Fresno State University, where he earned a B.S. in criminology in 1960. That year he started as a police officer in San Jose, California. In fact, Brown was elected as the president of the San Jose Police Officers' Association (union) and served from 1965–1966.
Brown went on to earn a master's degree in sociology from San José State University in 1964, and became an assistant professor there in 1968. At the University of California, Berkeley, he earned a second master's in criminology in 1968, and became chairman and professor of the Department of Administration of Justice at Portland State University in the same year. He earned a doctorate in criminology from Berkeley in 1970.
In 1972, Brown was appointed associate director of the Institute of Urban Affairs and Research and professor of Public Administration and director of Criminal Justice programs at Howard University. In 1974, Brown was named Sheriff of Multnomah County, Oregon and in 1976 became director of the Department of Justice Services.
Brown was the first African American to be appointed Police Chief to the City of Houston, and served from 1982–1990. He was first appointed by Mayor Kathy Whitmire. There he implemented methods of Community Policing.
Brown next took his leadership to New York City as Police Commissioner where he implemented community policing citywide. After one year, crime went down in every category. That was the start of the most drastic reduction of crime in the history of that city. Brown is known through the law enforcement community as the Father of Community Policing.
In 1993 Brown moved to Washington, DC for a national appointment as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (or "Drug Czar") under President Bill Clinton. The Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment.
Mayor of Houston 
In 1997, Brown became the first African American elected as mayor of Houston, Texas. During Brown's administration, the city invested extensively in infrastructure: it started its first light-rail system and obtained voter approval for its extension, along with increases in bus service, park and ride, and HOV lanes; opened three new professional sports facilities; revitalized the downtown area; constructed the City's first convention center hotel, and doubled the size of the convention center; and constructed the Hobby Center of the Performing Arts. In addition, it built and renovated new libraries, police and fire stations; undertook a $2.9 billion development program at the city's airport system that consisted of new terminals and runways; a consolidated rental car facility; in addition to renovating other terminals and runways; and built a new water treatment plant.
Brown also advanced the city's affirmative action program; installed programs in city libraries to provide access to the Internet; built the state-of-the-art Houston Emergency Communications Center; implemented e-government, and opened new parks. Many of the projects were planned or started by previous mayor Bob Lanier, who served until term limits. Brown led trade missions for the business community to other countries and promoted international trade. He increased the number of foreign consulates.
While in Houston, Dr. Brown was a Professor at Texas Southern University and Director of the university's Black Male Initiative Program.
Brown is a co-founder of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Brown is chairman and CEO of Brown Group International, http://bgi-intl.com/, which is a business solutions organization.
2001 Campaign 
Brown undertook a massive program to reconstruct the downtown street system and replace the aging underground utility system. The heavy roadway reconstruction in Houston's downtown area and accompanying traffic problems was made a campaign issue by his opponent. In 2001 Brown narrowly survived a reelection challenge and runoff against city councilman Orlando Sanchez, who campaigned against Brown's handling of Houston roadways. Sanchez' supporters made issue of poor street conditions, campaigning that the "P stands for Pothole," referencing Brown's middle initial. Sanchez himself used a Hummer adorned with the banner "With Brown in Town it's the only way to get around" as his campaign vehicle.
Sanchez used the media publicity where a Houston firefighter's death in the line of duty resulted in endorsements from the fire/emergency medical services sector. Brown was endorsed by the Houston Police Officers' Association.
The Brown-Sanchez election produced heated rhetoric and involvement from several national political figures. Brown received the endorsement of former president Bill Clinton while Sanchez was endorsed by President George W. Bush, former President George H.W. Bush and Mrs Bush, Rudy Giuliani and a host of other Republicans. Some members of the President's cabinet campaigned for Sanchez in Houston. The contest also produced racial undertones as Sanchez, a Cuban American vying to become the first Hispanic mayor of Houston, challenged Brown, the city's first African American mayor. Brown's campaign drafted family members of murder victim James Byrd Jr. for taped political ads accusing Sanchez of racial insensitivity towards Blacks for failing to support a hate crimes law. Sanchez, in turn, accused Brown of playing the race card against Hispanic voters.
Voting split heavily on racial lines with a majority of Hispanic and Anglo voters supporting Sanchez and a majority of African Americans and Asians supporting Brown. Brown narrowly won reelection by a margin of three percentage point following heavy voter turnout in predominantly Black precincts, compared to relatively light turnout in Hispanic precincts.
Brown's 2001 reelection was one of the last major political campaigns supported by the Houston-based Enron Corporation, which collapsed in a financial scandal only days after Brown's reelection.
Electoral history 
|Houston Mayoral Election 1997|
|✓||Lee P. Brown||132,324||42.26%|
|Houston Mayoral Election 1997, runoff|
|✓||Lee P. Brown||156,307||52.67%|
|Houston Mayoral Election 1999|
|✓||Lee P. Brown||139,150||67.29%||+25.03|
|Outlaw Josey Wales, IV||19,741||9.55%|
|Houston Mayoral Election 2001|
|✓||Lee P. Brown||125,282||43.46%||-23.83|
|Houston Mayoral Election 2001, runoff|
|✓||Lee P. Brown||165,866||51.67%|
Marriage and family 
Brown was married twice. He lost his first wife, Yvonne Brown, to cancer. They had four grown children together. He is currently married to Frances Young, a teacher in the Houston Independent School District.
Career timeline 
- 1960 patrolman in San Jose, California.
- 1968 Established the Department of Administration of Justice at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon
- 1972 Associate Director of the Institute for Urban Affairs and Research at Howard University in Washington, D.C. (held the academic rank of Professor of Public Administration and Director of Criminal Justice Programs)
- 1975 Sheriff, Multnomah County
- 1976 Director of Justice Services for Multnomah County, Oregon
- 1978 – 1982 Public Safety Commissioner, Atlanta, Georgia
- 1982 – 1990 Chief of Police, Houston, Texas
- 1990 – 1991 President of International Association of Chiefs of Police
- 1990 – 1992 New York City Police Commissioner
- 1993 Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
- 1998 – 2004 Mayor of Houston, Texas
- 2005–present Chairman and CEO, Brown Group International
- 1993 – Gallup Hall of Fame by Gallup, Inc.
- 1992 – Cartier Pasha Award from Cartier International
- 1991 – Father of the Year by the National Father's Day Committee
- Doctorate in Criminology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1970
- Masters in Criminology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968
- Masters in Sociology from San José State University in 1964
- Bachelors in Criminology from California State University, Fresno in 1961.
- Many articles and papers on police management, community policing, crime and the criminal justice system
- Co-author of Police and Society; An Environment for Collaboration and Confrontation
- Author of Policing in the 21st Century: Community Policing, 2012.
- "Lee P. Brown Biography". thehistorymakers.com. Retrieved April 6, 2009.
- Lee P. Brown
- "1999 Houston Election". City of Houston. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- "2001 Houston Election". City of Houston. Retrieved August 13, 2008.
- Brown, Lee and Jane Ely. Lee Brown Oral History, Houston Oral History Project, October 31, 2007.
Richard J. Condon
Raymond W. Kelly
|Director of the National Drug Control Policy
|Mayor of Houston