James A. (Jim) Brown, Jr. was born in Jackson, MS on August 25, 1940. He was a precocious student and became one of the youngest “Ham” radio operators in the U.S. at age thirteen. He was an Eagle Scout, graduated from Murrah High School in Jackson in 1958 and was a National Merit semifinalist. He played upright bass in his own band, the Rockaways, as well as with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and the Murrah High School band.
At the University of Mississippi, which he attended on a band scholarship, Jim was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He graduated in 1962 as the valedictorian of his class with a triple major in English, French, and economics. He attended graduate school on a full scholarship at Duke University, where he received a doctorate in economics in 1966.
He moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for the Institute of Defense Analysis, including a posting at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Viet Nam. From his days in Viet Nam, he developed a life long interest in Asian culture, and throughout his life travelled to five continents and seventy-six countries.
In 1970, Jim went to work for the Agency for International Development (AID), a branch of the U.S. State Department. He was a gifted student of languages, with partial fluency in eight languages. In 1972, he spent a year teaching English at the University of Taiwan.
Jim spent several years working in Africa, including the countries of Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast, analyzing agriculture and food production. He also worked on an initiative to improve economic and financial data worldwide, and spent time in Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines. His interest in radio and communications later led to a job at the FCC.
Jim met his wife, Nual, a native of Thailand, in Washington and they were married in 1985. He retired from government service and, with his wife as his partner, founded an import company, Enjai International, which specialized in selling items from Thailand. This company was active for many years, selling products in all fifty states and countries throughout the Caribbean.
After retiring from the import business, he was an investor in real estate properties in the D.C. area and in Jackson. In 2011, he joined the Washington Balalaika Orchestra and, more recently, played upright bass in the Arlington Concert Orchestra.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James A. (Army) Brown and Iris Williamson Brown. He is survived by his wife, Nualnapa Brown of Arlington, VA; sisters Amanda Brown Olmstead (George) of Atlanta, GA, and Adele Brown Tyler (Dan) of Nashville, TN; nieces Vanessa McDonald (Matt) of Chattanooga, TN; Blake Mavrogeorgis (Peter) of Atlanta, GA; Elise Tyler of Los Angeles, CA; nephews Jamie Olmstead (Melissa) of Atlanta, GA, and William Tyler of Los Angeles, CA.