Jesse Brown

Ranked #235 on the list Best Military Person of All Time

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About Jesse Brown

  • Participated in conflicts: Vietnam War

Jesse Brown (March 27, 1944 – August 15, 2002) was the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997. Jesse Brown was born on March 27, 1944, in Detroit, Michigan, to Lucille Marsh Brown and David Brown but grew up in Chicago. He attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and Roosevelt University in Chicago, and graduated from the City Colleges of Chicago. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1963, and served as a Marine in the Vietnam War, reaching the rank of Corporal. He was seriously injured in 1965 near Da Nang — his right arm shattered and partially paralyzed. In 1967, Brown joined the staff of Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a service and advocacy organization. He served in various supervisory roles with the DAV in the 1970s and 1980s: In 1989, Brown became the DAV's first African-American director, serving until 1993. In January 1993, Brown was selected by President Bill Clinton to the post of Secretary of Veterans Affairs, serving until 1997. He was the first African American to hold that post. During his tenure, Brown expanded the services offered to female veterans, homeless veterans and

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