In Memoriam

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Carter Albert Brown ’37

Carter Albert Brown ’37, June 27, 2002, of pneumonia, at home in Oakland, California. Carter received a bachelor’s degree from Reed in economics. He married Jane Marie Townsend ’41, dancer, teacher, and choreographer, and they had a daughter, and a son, Peter Brown ’72. After leaving Reed, the couple moved to Los Angeles and joined the Communist Party. Peter became a labor organizer for entertainment workers in Hollywood; he collected and sold used tires, and pressed 78 r.p.m. vinyl disks for Columbia Records. He joined the U.S. Army in World War II and was sent to officer candidate school, and then to radio school to learn to install and maintain radar bombsights in B-27 bombers all over the world. In New York after the war, Carter became a journeyman machinist, was an officer in his union local that strongly opposed the advent of the Korean War, and was blacklisted for work on the East Coast. He and his family moved to Pittsburg, California, in 1953, and he was hired and fired repeatedly for his political associations. Not until 1964 did Carter find a stable working situation, and continued to present his political views as a leader of study groups, and as a member of the Communist Labor Party. In his later years, he focused his energy in support for Jane’s dance career, even serving as chair of the board of directors for the Jane Brown Foundation for Dance and Related Studies. Peter, who provided details for this in memoriam, wrote that Carter taught him many powerful lessons, including "to look beyond the glitter of consumer goodies to see that all was not right with the world, and that there is work to be done and a better world to be built." Of his experience at Reed, Carter once noted, "I acquired total respect for the scientific method, and a basis in the humanities that has served me well."

Appeared in Reed magazine: August 2003

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