Brown, Norman O(liver) 1913-2002
BROWN, Norman O(liver) 1913-2002
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born September 25, 1913, in El Oro, Mexico; died October 2, 2002, in Santa Cruz, CA. Philosopher, educator, and author. During the counterculture movement of the 1960s, Brown gained a following as a philosopher who blended New Age mysticism with Freudian psychoanalysis, Marxism, and religion, often questioning the ways of Western civilization. After graduating from Balliol College, Oxford in 1936, he completed his doctoral work in the classics at the University of Wisconsin in 1942. During World War II he was assigned to the Office of Strategic Services as a research analyst. When the war was over he returned to America to teach at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and at the University of Rochester. In 1968 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, the year that institution opened, and was eventually made professor of humanities there, retiring in 1981. Brown's books were nearly as popular with college students during the 1960s and 1970s as the works of such authors as J. R. R. Tolkien and Herman Hesse. Notable among these are Life against Death: The Psychological Meaning of History (1959) and Love's Body (1966). Though he gained a large following of people who associated themselves with the counterculture, Brown resented being associated with the sexual and drug revolution, leading instead a quiet life of introspection. While in the beginning of his career he was a Marxist, he later abandoned Marx for Freud. He was often criticized by his colleagues for favoring individual freedom and eroticism over civilization, which he found oppressive, yet he also gained many admirers in academia for his iconoclastic ideas. After his retirement, he continued to write, publishing Apocalypse and/or Metamorphosis in 1991.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2002, p. B20.
New York Times, October 4, 2002, p. C20.
Times (London, England), October 8, 2002.
Washington Post, October 6, 2002, p. C10.