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Ron Brown
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    (August 1, 1941-April 3, 1996)
    Born in Washington, District of Columbia
    Chair of the Democratic National Committee (1989-93)
    Secretary of Commerce (1993-96)
    Died in the crash of an Air Force CT-43 near Dubrovnik, Croatia, during a trade mission
    During the 80s, he was a lobbyist for dictator Baby Doc Duvalier. ('Hey, he pays his bills.')
    His reaction on being offered the post as Secretary of Commerce was to ask a friend, 'What the hell does the Commerce Department do anyway?'
    He was repeatedly accused of mixing public service with private deal making.
    For example, two-thirds of the business executives accompanying him on trade missions happened to be donors to the Democratic Party.
    His fondness for traveling in high style led to complaints that he was spending taxpayer money too freely.
    At the time of his death, an independent counsel was investigating whether he had violated financial disclosure requirements and evaded taxes.
    His most suspicious business dealing: earning nearly $500,000 selling his interest in a firm he had never actually invested in.
    His former business partner claimed he overruled staffers worried about poor weather and insisted on flying to Croatia.
    As a child, he appeared in one of the first Pepsi ads targeted to the black community.
    He served in the US Army in Korea and Germany (1962-67).
    He was the first African-American to head one of the major political parties in America.
    He was credited with re-energizing the Democratic Party in the wake of the failed presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis.
    Bill Clinton said he was the single most important strategist in his 1992 campaign.
    'New Republic' called him 'the most formidable Commerce Secretary since Herbert Hoover.'
    The Commerce Department gives out an annual Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award in his honor.

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2020, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 100% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 14 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 18 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 15 Votes: 53.33% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 16 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 20 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 25 Votes: 52.00% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 14 Votes: 57.14% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 24 Votes: 70.83% Annoying
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