Donald Lamont Brown (1890 – 1940)

Donald Lamont Brown

Born in Berlin, Wisconsin in 1890, Donald L. Brown was an early innovator of aviation having been involved with the building and development of aircraft engines. 

Although he was a hard worker, it took Brown some time to find his calling.  As a young man, he worked an assortment of jobs, including newspaper carrier, journalist, store clerk and steel worker.  After attending Northwestern University, he started his aviation career as head of engine assembly at the Simplex Automobile Company, which later evolved into the Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation.  He later became a factory manager for Wright Aeronautical Corporation (formerly Wright-Martin).

Brown worked his way through various positions within aviation and became a co-founder of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company and, in 1930, president of United Aircraft Corporation.  As president, he led the company to become one of the world’s largest producers of airplanes and engines, and worked closely with the U.S. military. 

Brown’s accomplishments include serving as director for the Hartford Chamber of Commerce and the Hartford National Bank and Trust Company.  Brown accomplished a lot in a little amount of time.  He died in 1940 at the age of 49.  His memorial at Cedar Hill Cemetery commemorates his successful aviation career with a propeller adorning the front of the monument. 

Reference:
Hartford Courant. “D. L. Brown, Aircraft Co. Head, Dies.”  January 30, 1940, pp. 1.

Photo Credit: Clements, Norman V., ed. The Bee-Hive, Vol. XV, No. 2.  East Hartford: United Aircraft Corporation, 1940.