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Wed, 10.08.1902

William Donald Brown, Physician born

William Donald Brown

*The birth of William D. Brown is celebrated on this date in 1902. He was a Black doctor, surgeon, and community advocate.

From Minneapolis, Minnesota, he was the son of Dr. Robert S. Brown the first Black medical doctor licensed to practice in Minneapolis. He graduated from Minneapolis Central High School in 1914. In 1923, Brown received his Bachelor of Arts from the College of Science at the University of Minnesota. In 1927 he received his M.S., M.B., Doctors of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School at the top of his class.

Minnesota’s Jim Crow segregation forced him to do his internship at Hubbard hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, but he returned to Minneapolis in 1927. During this time Brown married his wife Frances and had a son Donald. Segregation only allowed him into Fairview hospital as a “courtesy staff member” where he was confined for nine years rather than the customary 6 months. In 1937, he started his private practice by opening an office on 12th and Hennepin Avenue near downtown Minneapolis.

During his lifetime, Brown was active in the state's NAACP, Urban League, and led 20th century American Civil Rights conflicts into the courts of Minnesota. William D. Brown Sr. died in 1968.

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