Few individuals anywhere have experienced the highs, and a few lows, found in the busy life of Jim Brown. From being a major sports figure in the 1960s, to covering the gamut of experiences right up to the present time through public life, and now as a columnist and on the radio, Jim has certainly not led any “hum drum” life.
Jim was legendary basketball Coach Dean Smith’s first recruit at the University of North Carolina in 1958, and Jim went on to become a member of the US Track Team in the early 60s. Remember Bullet Bob Hayes, the world’s fastest human? Jim handed off the baton to him on America’s 400 meter relay team.
Before his retirement from public office, Jim Brown was one of the longest serving public officials in Louisiana’s history. He was first elected to public office in l971 as one of Louisiana’s youngest State Senators. Many of the laws on the books today were authored by Jim. His efforts created the strongest public records and open meetings laws in the country. And he wrote landmark legislation that offered more public protection for financial privacy, and many of the state’s consumer protection law that still are in effect today.
In 1980, he was elected as Louisiana’s Secretary of State, and wrote major legislation to update the state’s election laws. He built what is considered to be the best state archives building in the country. And he streamlined the state’s corporation laws to make Louisiana more business friendly. The Shreveport Times called Jim the best Secretary of State in Louisiana history, and the Public Affairs Research Council labeled his office the most efficient in state government.
He was elected Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance in 1991, and immediately set out to rebuild this troubled department. Newspapers throughout the country have praised the job done by Jim.Under his administration, the Louisiana Department of Insurance was granted accreditation by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which helped establish the Louisiana Department of Insurance as one of the top insurance regulatory agencies in the country..
In addition to his official duties as of Insurance, Jim for many years hosted a weekly public affairs television program, Town Meeting Louisiana Style, which was viewed on approximately 50 cable systems around the State of Louisiana. He has taught college courses in Louisiana history at both Louisiana State University and Tulane University.
Education has always played an important role in his life. Jim received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina, attended Cambridge University in England, and received his Juris Doctorate from Tulane University in New Orleans, where he served as president of the Law School student body.
Today, Jim hosts a syndicated regular radio show that is heard in many states throughout the country. He also writes a weekly column posted on this site, and reprinted in numerous newspapers and websites throughout the south.
Jim lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is married to the former Gladys Solomon, and is the father of three daughters and one son.