John W. Brown
John William Brown was Ohio's fifty-eighth governor.
Brown was born on December 28, 1913, in Athens, Ohio. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1932 and embarked upon a career in business. His various business exploits included sales, insurance, and real estate to name just a few. He also served as an Ohio Highway Patrolman. With World War II's outbreak, Brown joined the United States Coast Guard. Upon the war's conclusion, he returned to Medina, Ohio, where he had moved to in 1941.
In 1950, Brown, a member of the Republican Party, embarked upon a political career, winning election to Medina's mayoral office. He held this position until 1952, when he became Ohio's lieutenant governor. In 1956, Brown sought the Republican Party's nomination for the Ohio governor's office, but he lost out to C. William O'Neill. Despite losing the nomination, Brown still became governor. In January 1957, Governor Frank Lausche resigned the governor's seat to become one of Ohio's two United States Senators. As lieutenant governor, Brown became governor. He served in office for the remainder of Lausche's term from January 3, 1957 to January 14, 1957.
Amazingly, considering his short time in office, Brown accomplished a great deal as Ohio's fifty-eighth governor. The primary reason for his success was the fact that the Republican Party controlled both houses of the Ohio legislature and Brown was also a Republican. In his inaugural address, Brown called for Ohio to enact measures to conserve the environment, to increase funding to education, and to deal with problems arising from urbanization. While the state legislature failed to deal with all of these issues during Brown's brief term, Brown succeeded in ending a strike at the Ohio Consolidated Telephone Company in Portsmouth, Ohio. He also commuted the sentences of four people from first degree murder to second degree murder, allowing them to qualify for parole. Interestingly, Brown also was the last governor to reside in the Governor's Mansion located on East Broad Street in Columbus.
Upon the end of his term as governor, Brown won election to the Ohio House of Representatives, serving in this capacity during 1959 and 1960. In 1961, he joined the Ohio Senate, and in 1962, Brown won election as lieutenant governor, remaining in this office from 1963 to 1975. He served longer as Ohio's lieutenant governor than any other person to hold this position. Brown died on October 29, 1993.