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Cal Poly Post Obituary

Cal Poly Post - October 29, 1987

Outstanding professor, 80, dies of vessel hemorrhage

Post Staff Writer

Cecil Brown, veteran war correspondent and Cal Poly Outstanding Professor of 1980, died Sunday of a ruptured aorta at age 80.

Brown taught American Civilization courses in the Department of Social Sciences here from 1970 - 1980 after a lengthy career in broadcasting.

Extraordinarily popular with students, Brown was a man of generosity and charm, according to John Moore, professor of social sciences and a close friend of Brown's.

The Cal Poly Years

During his Cal Poly years, Brown organized and produced a weekly television roundtable discussion, with Moore frequently serving as moderator.

"I never had more fun in my life," Moore said, crediting Brown with teaching him evervthing he knows about broadcasting.

"I consider him a mentor," Moore said. "I will never meet anyone as special to me as Cecil was. "

Overpowering in appearance, Brown was big and tall, with a thick mass of white hair.

"He was a giant physically and a giant in every other way. A giant of the 20th century graced this campus," Moore said.

As a young Ohio reporter seeking adventure who was to become a well-known World War II correspondent, "he led the most exciting and exotic life," Moore said.

He worked with Edward R. Murrow, Eric Sevareid and William Shirer in Europe during World War II, and survived the sinking of the British ship Repulse in the South China Sea and the Japanese bombing of Java while writing first hand accounts of front line action, the Los Angeles Time reported on Oct. 27. Brown also covered the Korean War and served as NBC's Far East bureau chief from 1958-1962.

His skilled reporting brought him numerous broadcasting awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award for journalistic excellence, the Overseas Press Club's best reporter award and Alfred I. du Pont and Associated Press awards for best commentary, the Times reported.

Contributions made in his name and given to the Department of Social Sciences will be used to help needy students, as Brown did when he was alive, Moore said.