George Brown, Jr.

Infobox_Congressman
name = George Brown, Jr.


date of birth = birth date|1920|3|6|mf=y
place of birth = Holtville, California
date of death = death date and age|1999|7|15|1920|3|6|mf=y
place of death = Bethesda, Maryland
state = California
district = 29th, 38th, 36th and 42nd
term = January 3, 1963 – January 3, 1971
January 3, 1973 – July 15, 1999
preceded = Dalip Singh Saund
Victor V. Veysey
succeeded = George E. Danielson
Joe Baca
party = Democrat
spouse =
children =
religion =

George Edward Brown, Jr. (March 6, 1920 – July 15, 1999), American politician, was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1963-1971 and 1973-1999, representing the San Bernardino and Riverside regions of California.

Background

Brown was born in Holtville, California and graduated from Holtville Union High School in 1935. He attended El Centro Junior College (1938). In 1944, he entered the United States Army, serving in World War II. Once the war ended, he returned to college graduating from UCLA in 1946. For twelve years he was employed by the city of Los Angeles, CA in personnel and engineering. In 1957, he became a management consultant.

Political career

George Brown became mayor and city councilman of Monterey Park, CA, 1954-1958. He was a member of the California state assembly from 1959-1962. In 1963, he was elected as a Democrat to the Eighty-eighth and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1963-January 3, 1971). In 1970, Congressman Brown unsuccessfully ran for nomination to the United States Senate. He was defeated in the Democratic primary by Congressman John V. Tunney. Brown returned to the House and was elected to the Ninety-third and to the thirteen succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1973-July 15, 1999).

Brown was infamous for running in more close elections than any other congressman in the 20th century without being defeated. A close election is considered by most pundits to be 55% of the vote or less, as most incumbent members of congress easily top 60% in their races. Brown topped the 55% mark only eight times in his 18 congressional elections and was only over 60% three times. He was nearly defeated in numerous elections starting with his first in 1962 for congressional district 29 with 55.7% of the vote. He would then earn 58.6%, 51.1%, and 52.3% in '64, '66, and '68 respectively before running for the US Senate. In 1972 he returned to congress by winning 56% of the vote in district 38. He would then have his three easiest campaigns by winning 62.6% in 1974, 61.6% in 1976, and 62.9% in 1978. In 1980 the Ronald Reagan landslide almost forced him from office and he struggled to hold on with 52.5% against Republican John Paul Stark. It was the first of five consecutive elections against Stark, another modern era record. Brown would triumph with 54% in 1982 and would garner 56.6% in 1984, 57% in '86, and 54% in '88. In 1990 he slipped to a meager 52.7% against Rob Curnock, a sign of tough elections to come. In 1992 famed pilot Dick Rutan held him to 50.7%. In 1994 he would survive the Republican landslide over his Hispanic opponent, Rob Guzman, with 51.1%. The 1996 race was even closer as he barely defeated Judge Linda Wilde with 50.5%. In his final reelection campaign in 1998 he came up with 55% of the vote.

In 102 and 103rd congresses, he served as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which is now the House Committee on Science

Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. died on July 15, 1999, while serving his 18th term in the House. The Congressman died from an infection developed following heart valve replacement surgery in May of that year. He was 79. At the time of his death, Brown was the Ranking Democratic Member on the House Science Committee and a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. He was the oldest serving House member and the longest serving member of the House or Senate in the history of his home state of California. Democrat Joe Baca was elected to his seat in a special election.

Legislative record

"I was interested in science before I even knew what science was.":::–George E. Brown, Jr.

Congressman Brown was known as a champion for science. He left behind a deep and expansive legacy that has shaped science and science policy in America. Among some of his many accomplishments as Chair of the House Science Committee:
* Established the Office of Science and Technology Policy
* Established the Environmental Protection Agency
* Established the (now defunct) Office of Technology Assessment

Outside of his many science accomplishments, Congressman Brown also had a hand in many important events and issues of his day. Brown fought for passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. He was also one of the first outspoken critics of the Vietnam War. He voted against every defense spending bill during the Vietnam era.

Legacy

Because of his strong commitment to science, Congressman Brown has been honored by several science and policy related organizations and had laboratories, libraries and bills named in his honor, including:
* [http://www.ars.usda.gov/main/site_main.htm?modecode=53102000 George E. Brown Salinity Laboratory]
* [http://www7.nationalacademies.org/nrclibrary/George_E_Brown.html George E. Brown Jr. Library, National Academies of Science]
* [http://www.nees.org/About_NEES/ George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES)]
* [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-1022 H.R. 1022: George E. Brown, Jr. Near-Earth Object Survey Act] (which was rolled into S.1281, the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, and is now law

External links

* [http://www.aaas.org/spp/yearbook/chap3.htm William D. Carey Award Lecture] delivered at the 23rd Annual AAAS Colloquium on Science and Technology Policy, held April 29-­May 1, 1998 Washington DC


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