About the Browns
The Browns come from modest means and they decided that they wanted to give back to the community. Eddie Brown was born in Apopka, Florida. He lived with his grandparents and uncle until he was 11 years old. At that point, he relocated to Allentown, Pennsylvania with his mother, where he attended an integrated high school, where he was one of five African Americans. He was a top academic performer and graduated with honors from Allentown High School. Brown attended Howard University, with the financial support from a local business owner in his town. At Howard, met and later married his college sweetheart, C. Sylvia Thurston. The couple have three daughters and three grandsons.
Eddie Brown served as an active duty as a Signal Corps officer for two years after finishing his degree. Afterwards he joined IBM’s Systems Development Division, where he spent five years designing computer circuits for large mainframe computers. During his time with IBM, he also earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from New York University and a MBA degree from Indiana University. In 1973, Brown moved to Baltimore to serve as a portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price. A decade later Brown left to start Brown Capital Management, which initially operated out of his suburban Baltimore home. The company now occupies a three-story building in downtown Baltimore and employs over 30 workers. In 2013, the Brown Capital Management celebrated its 30th year in business. An autobiographical book about Brown titled Beating the Odds: Eddie Brown’s Investing and Life Strategies was released in May 2011.
C. Sylvia Brown’s career has been divided between education and business. Sylvia taught middle school in Red Bank, New Jersey and in Hyde Park, New York. She also taught at the Baltimore City Community College and for five years she was assistant director of Admissions and Registration. On the business side, Sylvia worked for thirteen years in property development and management of the Brown family’s real estate in Baltimore City. In 2013, the couple received honorary doctorate of humane letters from Johns Hopkins University; the first husband and wife to do so in the history of the university. The twosome also received honorary doctorate of humane letters from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) for their extraordinary contributions in the arts, education and community. Most recently in 2015, the couple was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from their alma mater, Howard University.
Eddie and Sylvia’s community and philanthropic efforts have been extensive. The Brown Family Foundation was established at the Baltimore Community Foundation in 1994 as a vehicle for the family to support charitable organizations addressing needs in the areas of health, the arts, and K-12 education. In early 2002, their Brown Family Foundation announced the creation of the Turning the Corner Achievement Program (TCAP), an unprecedented education initiative for African American middle school students in Baltimore. The Brown Scholar Program at JHPSH aligns with the values and mission of the family. In particular, the Browns want the scholars to use their academic knowledge and research in the community for an extended time and make a significant, transformative impact.