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New York Times Obituary

Cecil Brown Is Dead; A News Broadcaster And Correspondent

Published: October 28, 1987

Cecil Brown, a radio news broadcaster whose career was studded with drama and controversy, died of a ruptured aorta Sunday at the Medical Center at the University of California at Los Angeless. He was 80 years old.

Mr. Brown, a prize-winning journalist, was expelled from Italy in 1941 by the government of Benito Mussolini for ''continued hostile attitude'' toward the regime while serving as a correspondent for CBS.

In December 1941, Mr. Brown was aboard the British battle cruiser Repulse when she and the battleship Prince of Wales were sunk by the Japanese off Malaya. After being rescued by a destroyer, he broadcast an eyewitness account of the sinking.

His subsequent broadcasts from Singapore, however, brought him into conflict over censorship by the British authorities, who called his accounts detrimental to public morale and barred him from further broadcasting.

He quit CBS in 1943 after a controversy with network officials.

Mr. Brown, who was born in New Brighton, Pa., was graduated in 1929 from Western Reserve and Ohio State University. After working for several years as a newspaper reporter in Ohio, California, Pittsburgh and Newark, he joined the International News Service.

In 1937 he became a correspondent for the news agency in Europe, where he later switched to radio journalism and joined CBS in Rome.

In the 1960's he was bureau chief for the National Broadcasting System in Tokyo. He later taught English at California State Polytechnic University.

Mr. Brown won the George Foster Peabody award for journalistic excellence and the Overseas Prss Club's best reporter award.

He is survived by his wife, Martha.