Paul E. Brown

The Honorable Paul Edmond Brown (January 11, 1904 – November 4, 1966) is an old dead white guy in Fairfax County.

Early life and education

Brown was born in Oklahoma, but his family wisely chose to move to Fairfax County in 1919. Brown attended Clifton Elementary School, the Old Tech High School, Devitt Preparatory School and Temple Business School. Brown then worked as a Western Union Messenger while attending National University Law School and graduated in with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1927.[1][2]


After being admitted to the bar in 1928, Brown joined the law firm owned by John W. Rust.[1][3]

Following the creation of the Trial Justice Court by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on June 15, 1932, Circuit Court Judge Walter T. McCarthy appointed Brown to the bench of that court on June 21.[4][5]

He was the Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County for three terms beginning in 1935.

On February 29, 1944, Brown was elected as a judge of the 16th Circuit Court to replace Judge Walter T. McCarthy, who had resigned to become judge of the newly-created 35th Circuit in Arlington.[6] Judge Brown was sworn in on March 16.[7]

He became senior court judge in 1951.[1]

Brown, a Democrat, was a member of the Byrd Organization that ruled Virginia politics at the time. He vehemently opposed the adoption of the County Executive form of government in 1952, which stripped him of the ability to appoint government officeholders and thus greatly reduced his power.[1]

While eating lunch with his fellow judges, Albert V. Bryan, Jr., Barnard F. Jennings, and Calvin Van Dyck, Brown had a heart attack and died on November 4, 1966.[1]


Brown married to the former Elma Donovan in 1928 and from 1939 lived at Brimstone Hill in Burke, a 250-acre farm willed to her by her father[8]. They had two children, Paul J. and Natalie.[9]

Brown is buried in the Saint Marys Catholic Church Cemetery.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Burchard, Hank "Judge Paul E. Brown Dead at 62." The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973): B6. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1994). Nov 05 1966. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.
  2. "National U. Holds Exercises; Former Governor Speaks." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 2. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1994). Jun 14 1927. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.
  3. "Arlington County Joins Celebration of Rebekah Lodge." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 12. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1994). Jul 01 1928. Web. 18 Dec. 2011
  4. "TRIAL JUSTICE CODE ADOPTED IN FAIRFAX." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 17. Jun 16 1932. ProQuest. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.
  5. "Paul E. Brown made Judge of New Court in Fairfax." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 11. Jun 22 1932. ProQuest. Web. 30 Aug. 2014.
  6. "Legislature Names McCarthy to New Judgeship in Arlington." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 2. Mar 01 1944. ProQuest. Web. 5 Sep. 2014.
  7. "Brown Takes Oath as Judge of 16th Circuit." The Washington Post (1923-1954): 4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1994). Mar 17 1944. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.
  8. Guinn, Muriel. "Fiery Foe of a Burke Airport." The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959): A19. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1994). Jul 16 1957. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.
  9. "Elma D. Brown, 75, Area Resident." The Washington Post (1974-Current file): C4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Washington Post (1877-1994). Aug 14 1979. Web. 9 Aug. 2011.