Les Brown (speaker)

  (Redirected from Leslie C. Brown)

Leslie Calvin "Les" Brown (born February 17, 1945) is an American motivational speaker, author, former radio DJ, and former television host. He was a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1976 to 1981.[1]

Les Brown
Les Brown speaking.jpg
Brown in 2009.
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 29th district
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1983
Preceded byWilliam Kopp
Succeeded byRay Miller
Personal details
Leslie Calvin Brown

(1945-02-17) February 17, 1945 (age 75)
Miami, Florida, United States
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1995; div. 1997)

As a motivational speaker, he uses the catch phrase "it's possible!" to encourage people to follow their dreams.[2] He was the host of The Les Brown Show in 1993.


Early lifeEdit

Brown was born with his twin brother, Wesley, in Liberty City, a low-income section of Miami, Florida. He was adopted by Mamie Brown, a 38-year-old single woman who worked as a cafeteria attendant and domestic assistant. Brown claims that he was declared "educable mentally retarded" while in grade school, damaging his self-esteem and confidence.[3]

Professional lifeEdit

According to many of Brown's speeches, when he first decided to get into public radio he was repeatedly unsuccessful. It wasn't until the on-air failures of the previous afternoon DJ that he was hired full-time. Upon his termination from the radio station, he ran for election in the Ohio House of Representatives and won. After leaving the Ohio state legislature, he shifted his career to television and became a host on PBS.[citation needed] Brown was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors from 1982 to 1988.[4] In 1989, he was the recipient of the National Speakers Association's Council of Peers Award for Excellence[5] and in 1994 he was a recipient of Toastmasters International's Golden Gavel.[6]

In September 1993, he began hosting a new talk show, The Les Brown Show. After nearly four months, it went on hiatus on December 3, 1993,[7] and on January 17, 1994, King World Productions replaced the show with Rolonda, hosted by Rolonda Watts.[8]

Brown formed the company Les Brown Enterprises Inc. to support his career as a motivational speaker and was on KFWB in California for a daily syndicated radio program from 2011 to 2012.[9]

Brown collaborated with John C. Maxwell for a candid look into the lives of professional speakers called "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Brown married Gladys Knight in 1995; they divorced in 1997 and Les talks about this during the hosting of his shows.[11][12] He has nine children: Calvin, Patrick, Ona, Ayanna, Tayloria, Thad, Sumaya, Serena and John-Leslie. He also has 15 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.[13]

In Popular CultureEdit

Lines from Brown's "Getting Unstuck" speech are sampled in the House song Unstuck by English DJ Huxley.


  • Live Your Dreams, HarperCollins, 1994, ISBN 0380723743, 9780380723744
  • It's Not Over Until You Win: How to Become the Person You Always Wanted to Be No Matter What the Obstacle, Simon Schuster ,1998, ISBN 0684835282
  • Laws Of Success: 12 Laws That Turn Dreams Into Reality, Selby Marketing Associates, Inc. (March 22, 2017), ISBN 0991071239
  • Up Thoughts for Down Times: Encouraging Words for Getting Through Life, Les Brown Enterprises Inc (August 1, 2002), ISBN 0972257403


  1. ^ "Leslie C. Brown | Ohio Statehouse". www.ohiostatehouse.org. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  2. ^ "Meet Les Brown - Motivational Speaker, Speech Coach & Best Selling Author". Les Brown Enterprises. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  3. ^ "George Washington Williams Room - Legislators". The Ohio Statehouse. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
  4. ^ "George Foster Peabody Awards Board Members". www.peabodyawards.com. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  5. ^ "CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame – National Speakers Association (NSA)". National Speakers Association. Archived from the original on December 31, 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  6. ^ "Toastmasters International -2019 Golden Gavel Recipient". www.toastmasters.org. Archived from the original on December 31, 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-31.
  7. ^ "Less Les? (The Les Brown Show)". HighBeam Research. 6 December 1993. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012.,
  8. ^ Freeman, Mike (3 January 1994). "King World Productions replaces 'The Les Brown Show' with 'Rolonda Watts'". HighBeam Research. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Les Brown Exits KFWB". All Access. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  10. ^ "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", Youtube.
  11. ^ Company, Johnson Publishing (1995-10-09). Jet. Johnson Publishing Company.
  12. ^ "Pain and Glory - Vol. 48 No. 23". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  13. ^ "Les Brown | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2019-12-31.

External linksEdit