Charles Albert Browne Jr.

Dr. Charles Albert Browne Jr. (August 12, 1870 – February 3, 1947) was a renowned sugar chemist and former head of the Bureau of Chemistry, which later became the Food and Drug Administration.

Early life and education

Charles Albert Browne Jr. was born in North Adams, Massachusetts, on August 12, 1870, the eldest of five children. His father, Charles Albert Browne Sr., was an inventor and held several patents dealing with explosive technologies including electric fuses. His father helped to apply these technologies during the construction of the Hoosac Tunnel near North Adams, where Charles grew up. In his youth, Charles assisted his father in conducting experiments which naturally aroused the boy's interest in chemistry.[1]

Upon graduating from Drury High School in North Adams, Charles went on to attend nearby Williams College where he received a B.A and M.A. in 1892. In addition to studying chemistry, he became intensely interested in Greek Language - an interest that he pursued in parallel with chemistry throughout his life. He went on to do further study in the field of chemistry, and received his doctorate from The University of Göttingen in 1901.


In 1918, Charles Browne married Louise McDannell of Kentucky, herself a Ph.D. in chemistry – quite rare for a woman in that day and age. He once wrote jokingly that "I have been greatly blamed for causing her to abandon a very successful academic career".[2] The Brownes had one daughter, Caroline Louise Browne (June 8, 1922 - November 29, 2007) who spent the majority of her life in and near Washington D.C, raising two children of her own.


  1. Phillips, Max, "Charles A. Browne - Distinguished Agricultural Chemist", The Capital Chemist, January 1956, 10-14
  2. Williams College Reunion Committee, "Thirteenth Report of the Class of Ninety-Two", 1942

External links

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