Walter A. Brown

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Walter A. Brown (February 10, 1905 – September 7, 1964) was the original owner of the Boston Celtics as well as an important figure in the development of ice hockey in the United States.

Life[edit]

He was born in Hopkinton, Massachusetts and attended Boston Latin from 1922 to 1923 and Philips Exeter Academy from 1923 to 1926. After succeeding his father, George V. Brown, as manager of the Boston Garden, he helped to found the Basketball Association of America in 1946, and was instrumental in merging the BAA and the National Basketball League into the National Basketball Association in 1949. He founded the Celtics in 1945, and helped to transform the team into a dynasty, as the Celtics won six championships in the seven years before his death. He is buried in St. John the Evangelist Cemetery in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Brown was the President of the Boston Athletic Association from 1941 to 1964.[1] In 1951 during the height of the Korean War, Brown denied Koreans entry into the Boston Marathon. He stated: "While American soldiers are fighting and dying in Korea, every Korean should be fighting to protect his country instead of training for marathons. As long as the war continues there, we positively will not accept Korean entries for our race on April 19."[2]

Hockey[edit]

Brown also played an important role in the development of hockey; he coached the amateur Boston Olympics to five Eastern Hockey League championships and guided the USA to its first gold medal in the Ice Hockey World Championships in 1933. In February 1940, Brown and eight other arena managers organized the Ice Capades.[3] In 1951, he bought the financially strapped Boston Bruins; he had been the Bruins' landlord since becoming the Garden's manager. He served as the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation from 1954 to 1957.

Honors[edit]

Celtics1.png

Brown was honored by having the NBA championship trophy named after him after he died in 1964.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1962, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1965, and IIHF Hall of Fame in 1997, its inaugural year.[4][5]

The Boston Celtics retired uniform number "1" in Brown's honor in 1964.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pave, Marvin (April 17, 2008). "Legacy on the line". The Boston Globe. 
  2. ^ Sport: Banned in Boston. Time, February 12, 1951.
  3. ^ Hamilton, F. F. , Jr. (1974). Ice Capades "years of entertainment". Washington, DC: Penchant Publishing Company, Ltd. 
  4. ^ "Hockey Hall of Fame". Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Basketball Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2007-10-12. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
First
President of the Boston Celtics
1946–63
Succeeded by
Louis Pieri
Preceded by
First
Boston Celtics general manager
1946–1951
Succeeded by
Red Auerbach
Preceded by
Boston Garden-Arena Corporation
Boston Celtics principal owner
1950–1964
Succeeded by
Louis Pieri and Marjorie Brown
Preceded by
Weston Adams, Sr.
President of the Boston Bruins
1951–64
Succeeded by
Weston Adams, Sr.
Preceded by
Dr Fritz Kraatz
President of the IIHF
1954–57
Succeeded by
John F "Bunny" Ahearne