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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BROWN, DOROTHY GRACE MASON

BROWN, DOROTHY GRACE MASON

BROWN, DOROTHY GRACE MASON (4 Nov. 1905 - 16 Sept. 1996) helped establish the Maternal Health Association, now known as PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF GREATER CLEVELAND, and supervised the construction of the organization's first Mobile Birth Control unit. Born in Chicago to Ida Markquardt and Morris E. Mason, whose work with the Mohawk Rubber Co. brought the family to Akron three years later, Brown attended North High School where she was valedictorian. She earned a B.A. from Wellesley College in 1927, and an M.A. in international law from Radcliff College in 1928. Brown then moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked for Alger Hiss for a year before she married and moved to Cleveland.

From the 1930s through the 1970s, Mrs. Brown held a number of volunteer positions with the Maternal Health Association, including secretary and chairman of the board of directors as well as member of the board; and she worked as liaison between the MHA and the company that constructed the Mobile Birth Control Clinic, which began operating on the east side of Cleveland in the early 1960s. During WORLD WAR II, she was a speaker for the CLEVELAND COUNCIL ON WORLD AFFAIRS on topics concerning the Far East, and was a member and volunteer with the CITIZENS LEAGUE OF GREATER CLEVELAND. She was active in local and national politics in the REPUBLICAN PARTY. Brown was involved in numerous civic and study groups throughout her life, and was a member of the UNION CLUB OF CLEVELAND, and the CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. Also an avid golfer, she was a member of the Westwood and Elyria country clubs.

In 1929 she married John Wesley Brown, Jr., an inventor who held 250 patents and co-founded Brown Fintube Co. in Elyria. They had two children: a son John W. III, who died in 1988, and daughter Terry M. Rostamo. Mrs. Brown died in Fort Worth, TX, and is buried in Rye, NH.

SSH