Lee Patrick Brown was elected the first African American Mayor of Houston, Texas on December 6, 1997. Brown was born on October 4, 1937 in Wewoka, Oklahoma to sharecroppers. He served the maximum three terms in office after elections in 1999 and 2001.
Serving as mayor was not his first major administrative responsibility; Brown in 1972 began work as Associate Director of the Institute for Urban Affairs and Research and a Professor of Public Administration at Howard University, in 1975 become the Sheriff of Mutnomah County, Oregon, Director of it's Justice Services in 1976, Public Safety Commissioner of Atlanta, Georgia in 1978 (serving as the top law enforcement official during the Atlanta Child Murders) and the first African American Police Chief of the City of Houston, Texas from 1982 to 1990. In 1989 Brown received a job that moved him to the highest administrative rim of law enforcement in the country. New York City Mayor David Dinkins appointed Brown to become the first African American Police Commissioner of New York City. Later in 1993 he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (Drug Czar) under President Bill Clinton. These jobs properly prepared Brown for the top administrative job in Houston as it's mayor. After high school Brown entered Fresno State University on a football scholarship where in 1960 he received a B.S. degree in criminology. He earned a master's degree in sociology from San Jose State University and a second master's and doctorate in criminology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Words That Matter
Booker T. Washington
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome."