- James W. Riddlesperger
disability advocate and cabinet secretary, was born in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up in Chicago. He attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and Roosevelt College in Chicago. He graduated from Chicago City College and subsequently enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963, serving in the Vietnam War. There he was seriously wounded when an enemy bullet shattered his right arm while he was on patrol in Da Nang, leaving him partially paralyzed. In a real sense, that injury defined the rest of Brown's career.
Upon leaving the Marine Corps in 1966 Brown joined the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), an advocacy group supporting the cause of veterans injured while in military service. The organization had been founded in 1920 and given a congressional charter in 1932 and was the official voice of America s service connected disabled veterans representing all of America s disabled veterans their families and ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.