by Andrea Hricko, MPH
Rick Brown, PhD, a sociologist by training, was a world renowned champion of public health. Thousands of occupational health, children’s health, and community health advocates who knew him are mourning his loss. Rick passed away two weeks ago of a stroke while lecturing in Kentucky.
His work on health care issues (especially the lack of health insurance for children) and his development of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were just two of his major achievements. He was a longtime professor at UCLA School of Public Health, adviser to several U.S. Presidents, former president of the largest public health organization in the world, the American Public Health Assocation, and was even chair of the Airport Commission in our town of Santa Monica.
The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, of which Rick was founding director, has set up a moving website to honor Rick, which includes contact information for his family. An L.A. Times obituary about Rick pays appropriate tribute to him for his years of public health advocacy. He is survived by his wife of 46 years Ms. Marianne Brown, another worker health and safety champion, who served for many years as the head of the Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program at UCLA. Also left behind are their two daughters, Delia Brown and Adrienne Faxio, son-in-law John Faxio, granddaughter Makeda, and a brother.
Rick Brown was a warm, wise and wonderful man whom his many friends and colleagues already miss terribly.