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Lawrence "Bubba" Brown
*Bubba Brown was born on this date in 1919. He was a Black accountant and community activist.
Lawrence A. (Bubba) Brown was from Minneapolis. His parents were John and Harriet Brown. He had one brother Harold and his family grew up on the North side of town, and he and his brother graduated from North High School. In his youth, he spent considerable time at the Phyllis Wheatley House, which he credited with much of his later success and perspectives on life. He attended Mankato State College and the University of Minnesota on a football scholarship.
Brown was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1942 and served in a segregated unit in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy in WWII. He was wounded in Italy and spent 18 months recovering in Army hospitals. After his discharge, Brown worked as a tax auditor in the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue. In 1957 he married Alice (Jo) Kelly, and they had three children, Kevin, Laurie, and Janine. From 1966 to 1968, as an accountant, he helped set up an income tax withholding system in Uganda, East Africa, under a contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development. When he and his family returned to the U.S., he worked as deputy director of the Urban Coalition in Minneapolis for three years. He later held other positions in the private sector.
After Brown retired, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State University in 1973. His daughter Laurie died of leukemia in the early 1960s; this experience made him recognize the need for housing for parents of hospitalized children, many of whom came from outside the Twin City area. He was one of the three founders of the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis, which opened its first house in 1979. He learned about serving his community as a youth and returned to volunteer as a coach and mentor at Phyllis Wheatley and as a tutor in the Minneapolis Public Schools. He coached football, Babe Ruth, and Little League baseball in the suburbs of Minneapolis and was an assistant football coach at North High for seven years.
Brown was also involved in the Red Tail Project of the Tuskegee Airmen. His brother, Col. Harold Brown, was a Tuskegee Airman. Lawrence A. (Bubba) Brown, a member in good standing of "The Greatest Generation," died on March 14, 2012, at his home.
Alice (Jo) Brown (Wife)
Black Box Interview
African American Registry, 2006