William J. Brown (Ohio politician)

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William J. Brown
William J. Brown.jpg
42nd Attorney General of Ohio
In office
January 11, 1971 – January 10, 1983
GovernorJohn Gilligan
Jim Rhodes
Preceded byPaul W. Brown
Succeeded byAnthony J. Celebrezze Jr.
Personal details
Born(1940-07-12)July 12, 1940
Mahoning County, Ohio
DiedNovember 3, 1999(1999-11-03) (aged 59)
Columbus, Ohio
Resting placeOak Grove Cemetery, Delaware, Ohio
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materPettit College of Law

William J. Brown (July 12, 1940 – November 3, 1999)[1] was an American lawyer, and was elected Ohio Attorney General in 1970 and served until leaving office in January 1983.

Brown was from Mahoning County, Ohio. He remained active in Ohio politics through the 1990s. Brown's tenure in office is one of the longest on record for the Ohio Attorney General's office.[citation needed] In 1982, he was defeated in the democratic primary for governor to Richard Celeste.[2]

While in office, Brown emphasized consumer rights and created the state's first Consumer Protection section.[citation needed] Brown also successfully sued General Motors in the late 1970s for failing to disclose that automobile manufacturer deployed Chevrolet-built engines into more expensive Oldsmobile brand cars; the settlement included compensation paid to owners of Oldsmobiles who bought new cars from Oldsmobile dealers in 1977 and 1978 equipped with the Chevrolet V8 engines.

Following his term as Ohio Attorney General, Brown joined the law firm now known as Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. The firm has endowed a scholarship in his name, the William J. Brown Scholarship, at the Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University, Brown's alma mater.

The William J. Brown Award Consumer Protection Award is named for him.[3][4] William J. Brown memorial highway is named for him.[5]


  1. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1350&dat=19991104&id=xQ0wAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3wMEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3755,816504
  2. ^ IVER PETERSON, Special to the New York Times (1982-06-09). "Rep. Brown And Celeste Win Ohio Nominations". OHIO: NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-09.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2015-05-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. ^ http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Briefing-Room/Videos/Ohio-Consumer-Protection-Summit--William-J--Brown-
  5. ^ "Lawriter - ORC - 5533.42 William J. Brown memorial highway". Codes.ohio.gov. 2000-08-29. Retrieved 2012-10-09.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
Paul W. Brown
Ohio Attorney General
Succeeded by
Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr.