Charles J. Brotman
December 30, 1927
|Known for||Announcing the US presidential inaugurations from Eisenhower to Obama|
Charles J. "Charlie" Brotman (born December 30, 1927) is an American public relations specialist and public address announcer, known for his presentation of U.S. presidential inaugural parades of 11 presidents from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Barack Obama.
Early life and career
Brotman, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, grew up in Northeast Washington, DC, graduated from McKinley Technology High School and studied at the University of Maryland. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948, then attended the National Academy of Broadcasting. Brotman was one of the academy's students selected by the organizers of Harry S. Truman's inauguration in 1949 to broadcast the first-ever televised inaugural ceremony.
Following his graduation from the academy, Brotman worked as a disc jockey and sports announcer in Orlando, Florida. A 1956 meeting with Senators' owner Calvin Griffith led to him returning to his hometown of Washington to take the Senators announcing assignment. He later became the team's promotions director as well.
In the 1960s, Brotman started his own public relations firm, Brotman|Winter|Fried, specializing in sports promotions. (His firm was acquired by Sage Communications in 2011.) He continued to announce on Opening Day for the Senators each year until the team moved to Texas following the 1971 season. When the Washington Nationals relocated to the city in 2005, Brotman returned to his Opening Day duties.
Brotman joined LINK Strategic Partners, a strategic communications and stakeholder engagement firm based in Washington, DC, as a senior advisor in 2015. He advises the firm on its hyperlocal engagement work in DC and around the country.
Brotman has been inducted into 11 different Halls of Fame during his more than 50 years in public relations and announcing, including the Washington Hall of Fame, the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Jock's Hall of Fame, the Public Relations Society of America Hall of Fame, the Advertising Club of Washington Hall of Fame, the Greater Washington Fastpitch Softball Hall of Fame. His most recent induction took place in 2014 at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts for the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation Hall of Fame.
As an inauguration announcer
Prior to taking on his inaugural duties, Brotman had been the stadium announcer at Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators baseball team. Brotman noted that on Opening Day 1956, Eisenhower was at the ballpark to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Later that year, a White House staffer called Brotman and said Eisenhower was impressed with his work, and he wanted Brotman for the inauguration.
The staffer asked Brotman, "Will you charge a fee? Because our parade budget is very minimal." Brotman responded, "No, as a matter of fact, to be honest, I'd pay you for the honor."
Brotman was behind the microphone for every inaugural parade in Washington, DC, since 1957, when Dwight D. Eisenhower was sworn in for his second term. Barack Obama's second inauguration in 2013 was the 15th consecutive ceremony that Brotman has announced, and his 16th overall.
President Donald Trump's Presidential Inauguration Committee ended Brotman's reign as announcer, instead picking Steve Ray, a Trump supporter, for the 58th Presidential Inauguration. Brotman was, however, selected to welcome the National Organizers for the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 - the day following the Inauguration.
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- Eric Bradner. "Trump drops inauguration announcer who's done them all since Eisenhower". CNN. Retrieved 2017-01-09.
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- Leshan, Bruce (2013-01-20). "Charlie Brotman Has Been The Voice Of the Inaugural Parade Since 1949". WUSA-TV 9. Washington DC. Archived from the original on 2013-02-17. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- Kunkle, Fredrick (2013-01-20). "Inaugural parade's announcer knows how to call 'em as voice of former Washington Senators ballclub". Washington Post. Washington DC. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- Hoffman, Allison (2013-01-18). "Inaugural Parade's Jewish Voice". Tablet. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- "Bio: Charlie Brotman, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board". Brotman|Winter|Fried. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- "Sage Communications' Senior Advisor Charlie Brotman to Serve as the President's Announcer for the 57th Inaugural Parade". Sage Communications. 2013-01-14. Archived from the original on 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- Seidel, Jeff (2005-04-01). "Brotman is back behind the microphone". Washington Nationals. Archived from the original on 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- WTEF Hall of Fame. Citi Open. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
- Somanader, Tanya (2013-01-16). "Meet Charlie Brotman, the voice of the inaugural parade". The Presidential Inauguration Committee 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-02-23. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- Stephey, M.J. (2009-01-20). "Q&A: Inaugural Parade Announcer". Time. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- "White House South Lawn Tee Ball". The White House (archived). 2006-07-30. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- ABC News (2017-01-21), Women's March on Washington 2017 (FULL EVENT) | ABC News (YouTube Video), retrieved 2017-01-22