Himan Brown, the classic radio drama creator and producer, died on Friday, June 4, in Manhattan at the age of 99. His work spanned the 20th century and included the immensely popular serials: “The Adventures of the Thin Man”; “Dick Tracy”; and the “CBS Radio Mystery Theater.”
Brown began his career at age 17, reading a newspaper column in Yiddish on a fledgling NBC station. He soon pitched the idea for the radio show “The Rise of the Goldbergs” and voiced the role of Berg’s husband. While voicing Berg’s husband, he was attending Brooklyn Law School. He graduated valedictorian of the class of 1931. Although he never practiced law, Brown’s legal skills were used to acquire the rights to several fictional characters from novels and comic books, including Dick Tracy, the Thin Man, and Flash Gordon, a move that skyrocketed his career. By his own count, Brown had produced and participated in more than 30,000 radio shows.
In his later life, Brown founded the Radio Drama Network, a not-for profit educational foundation devoted to preserving the spoken word. A recipient of the Peabody Award and American Broadcast Pioneer Award, he was also inducted to the Radio Hall of Fame.
He was a very generous and loyal supporter of Brooklyn Law School through the years. He returned to the Law School in 2006 to lead an interactive workshop with law students on the art of the spoken word. In 2004, he was named Alumni of the Year and was honored at a luncheon. “He had an extraordinary life and leaves an incredible legacy,” said Dean Joan G. Wexler on learning of his passing. “Not many people have such a remarkable combination of brains and creative talent.”
Read about Himan Brown in LawNotes.
Read more about Himan Brown in the New York Times.