From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Brown, John Michael

(born: 1949  -  died: January 13, 2024) 

J. Michael Brown was the first African American to be appointed Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; he was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear in 2007.

Brown was born in New York, the son of John Sylvester Brown and Cora Lewis Brown. He was a graduate of City College of New York, where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science. A paratrooper and infantry officer in the 82nd Airborne Division, he piloted helicopters. He was later stationed at Fort Campbell, KY, with the 101st Airborne.

Brown remained in Kentucky, graduating in 1979 from the University of Louisville School of Law. He served as a Louisville District Court Judge and Law Director for the City of Louisville. He was the first African American to serve as president of the Louisville Bar Association and served as the Deputy Attorney General under Andy Beshear, starting in 2016.

J. Michael Brown died in 2024. 

For more on Brown's career, see L. Lamb, "J. Michael Brown tapped as new Justice Cabinet Secretary," Inside Corrections, vol. 1, issue 4 (January 2008), pp. 1 & 6-7.

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Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Inside corrections: official newsletter of the Kentucky Department of Corrections (periodical)
NKAA Entry: Connections with Renee Shaw (KET)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Brown, John Michael,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 1, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-01-22 15:17:33