Don Brown has spent a lifetime in motorcycling, first as a desert racer, later as the editor of Cycle magazine, creator and host of one of the first motorcycle radio shows, co-author of a popular off-road motorcycling book, and then as general sales manager for Johnson Motors, the original franchised Triumph importer.
He went on to hold executive positions with U.S. Suzuki and BSA, before becoming one of the best known and most widely respected industry analysts and consultants in the business. Brown was born in Wichita, Kansas, on September 19, 1929. His father was a noted pilot and sales manager for airplane maker Travel Air. As a child during the Depression, Brown and his family lived for a time with his dad’s best friend, the famous aviator Jimmy Doolittle and his family in St. Louis.
After Don's father, Ray, joined the Navy in 1941, the family moved to Grand Prairie, Texas, in order to be near the Dallas Naval Air Station where his father frequently landed while ferrying bombers to Dakar, Senegal, in Africa.
In Texas, Don worked on a ranch and learned to love horses and the cowboy’s life. When his father returned from military service in the South Pacific and was assigned to California, Don left home at 14 and found work as a ‘wanna-be’ cowboy in Texas. When his father was killed in an airplane crash in 1946, Don joined the Army at 17 and volunteered for special occupation forces in Germany.
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Don Brown has died in his Irvine, Calif., home. He was 80.