Browne, Robert S(pan) 1924-2004

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BROWNE, Robert S(pan) 1924-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born August 17, 1924, in Chicago, IL; died of heart failure, August 5, 2004, in West Haverstraw, NY. Economist, activist, educator, and author. Browne used his knowledge of economics to further his causes against war and the disenfranchisement of African Americans through various organizations that he founded. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1944, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. The G.I. Bill presented him the opportunity to attend graduate school, which he did at the University of Chicago, earning an M.B.A. in 1947; he would later also study economics at the London School of Economics and at the City University of New York. During the 1950s and 1960s, Brown became interested in Indochina. Becoming an official of the U.S. Agency for International Development, from 1955 through 1961, he worked as an economist in Cambodia and Vietnam, and his time there led to a conviction that the Vietnam War was wrong; in 1966 he ran as an Independent for the U.S. Senate, taking a stand for peace in an unsuccessful bid for a New Jersey seat. After serving as project director of the Phelps-Stokes Fund in New York City for two years, Browne turned to academia, teaching as an assistant professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University from 1965 to 1971. By this time, he began founding organizations to support several social causes, beginning with the Black Economic Research Center, which he created in 1969 to assist with the development of projects to benefit African Americans. Over the next two years he also established the Emergency Land Fund and the Twenty-first Century Foundation, the former working to protect the rights of black landowners in the South and the latter providing grant money to African Americans. Browne served as director of the Black Economic Research Center until 1980, when he became executive director of the African Development Fund. From 1982 to 1985, Browne as a senior research fellow of African studies at Howard University, and he was a Ford Foundation research fellow there until 1992. Browne spent considerable time in the late 1980s in government work, serving to advise the House Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs as the staff director of the subcommittee on international finance from 1986 until 1991. As a writer, he contributed articles to numerous magazines and journals and was the author of Race Relations in International Affairs (1961) and The Lagos Plan of Action vs. the Berg Report (1984; 2nd edition, 1985).



Chicago Tribune, August 20, 2004, section 1, p. 15.

Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, August 15, 2004, p. A29.

Washington Post, August 11, 2004, p. B4.

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Browne, Robert S(pan) 1924-2004

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