John William Brown

For other people with the same name, see John Brown (disambiguation).
John W. Brown

John William Brown speaking in 1979
54th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
In office
January 14, 1963  January 13, 1975
Governor Jim Rhodes
John J. Gilligan
Preceded by John W. Donahey
Succeeded by Dick Celeste
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the district
In office
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 69th district
In office
58th Governor of Ohio
In office
January 3, 1957  January 14, 1957
Preceded by Frank J. Lausche
Succeeded by C. William O'Neill
51st Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
In office
January 12, 1953  January 3, 1957
Governor Frank J. Lausche
Preceded by George D. Nye
Succeeded by Paul M. Herbert
Mayor of Medina
In office
Personal details
Born December 28, 1913
Athens, Ohio
Died October 29, 1993 (aged 79)
Medina, Ohio
Resting place Spring Grove Cemetery, Medina, Ohio[1]
Political party Republican

John William Brown (December 28, 1913  October 29, 1993)[2] was a Republican politician from Ohio. He briefly served as the 58th Governor of Ohio from January 3, 1957 to January 14, 1957 and served as the 51st and 54th Lieutenant Governor of Ohio.

Brown also served as mayor of Medina, in the Ohio House, and in the Ohio Senate.

Lieutenant governor

John W. Brown is Ohio's longest serving lieutenant governor, having served under three different governors from 1953 to 1957 and 1963 to 1975. In 1952, he unseated the incumbent lieutenant governor, Democrat George D. Nye, and took office in 1953. (At the time, the office of lieutenant governor was elected separately from the office of governor). Brown defeated Nye again in 1954 to win a second two-year term.

In 1956, instead of seeking another term as lieutenant governor, Brown ran for the gubernatorial nomination against state Attorney General C. William O'Neill. Brown lost badly in the primary, getting only 27.5% of the vote to O'Neill's 72.5%.[3]

Governor of Ohio

In January 1957, as Brown was about to leave the lieutenant governorship, Frank J. Lausche, the Democratic governor of Ohio, resigned to take a seat in the United States Senate, which he had won in the 1956 general election. Brown, thus, was elevated to the office of governor. Lausche's successor, C. William O'Neill (who had defeated Brown in the gubernatorial primary), had already been elected, at the same time that Lausche won his Senate seat; however, at the time, the U.S. Senate term began on January 3, but the Ohio gubernatorial term did not end until January 14.[4]

Into the breach stepped the outgoing lieutenant governor. Brown took his eleven-day-long governorship very seriously. He moved into the governor's mansion, summoned the General Assembly to hear his state of the state address, demanded and received the governor's salary for the eleven days, and deposited five boxes of gubernatorial papers with the Ohio Historical Society.[4] Among papers was a letter, on gubernatorial letter-head, to Columbus mayor M. E. Sensenbrenner, asking him to take care of a parking ticket.[5] There was also a letter to then-President Eisenhower asking for a federal job after his eleven days in the governor's office were complete.[5]

Later career

In 1958, Brown was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he served from 1959 to 1961. He won election to the lieutenant governorship again in 1962, and served another three terms (by this time, the lieutenant governor's term had been extended to four years), from 1963 to 1975. In 1974, Brown lost his bid for another term to Richard F. Celeste.[6]

After serving as lieutenant governor, Brown worked to reactivate, and became the first commandant of, the Ohio Naval Militia.


Brown Arena at the Ohio Expo Center and State Fair in Columbus, Ohio, is named in honor of Brown.


  1. John William Brown at Find a Grave
  2. Usher, p. 65-67.
  3. Congressional Quarterly, Inc., Guide to U.S. Elections, 2d ed., 1985.
  4. 1 2 Usher, p. 65.
  5. 1 2 Usher, p. 66.
  6. Usher, p. 66, 67.


Political offices
Preceded by
George D. Nye
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Paul M. Herbert
Preceded by
Frank J. Lausche
Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
C. William O'Neill
Preceded by
John W. Donahey
Lieutenant Governor of Ohio
Succeeded by
Richard F. Celeste
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