Farewell, Mr. Speaker

The Lakeville Journal Editorial
Nelson Brown

Connecticut lost a longtime public servant last week who knew all about creating an atmosphere of unity. Nelson C.L. Brown II (1922-2011) was elected to the first of three terms as a state representative from Groton in 1952 and became the youngest ever speaker of the state House in 1957. He was a Republican who understood the importance of putting the needs of the state and his constituency first, above party politics. He had friends on both sides of the aisle and treated all of them with the same measure of respect whether or not he agreed with their political stands.

Brown worked most recently as a lobbyist for open information and freedom of information causes at the state Legislature, following retirement in 1987 from a career there as a lobbyist for American Petroleum Institute (API). He was the legislative agent for the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information for more than a decade, and worked tirelessly on behalf of the council to ensure that government information would remain open in Connecticut. He continued to make many important contributions to the welfare of Connecticut’s citizens well into his 80s. His love of Connecticut and its people gave him the impetus to put his heart and soul into the work he did on their behalf.

He was a true gentleman who should serve as a model of bipartisan, thoughtful statesmanship to those who are now working in the Legislature.

To see Nelson Brown’s obituary, go to www.legacy.com/obituaries/theday or www.legacy.com/obituaries/hartfordcourant.