The second African-American to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court of Ohio had his official portrait dedicated to the Supreme Court in a courtroom ceremony on July 06, 2010.
Former Justice Lloyd O. Brown was born on Dec. 12, 1928, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Justice Brown grew up in Cleveland, served in the U.S. Coast Guard, and graduated from The Ohio State University with three degrees: bachelor's degrees in political science and law; and a juris doctor.
Following service as an assistant attorney general and a Cuyahoga County assistant prosecuting attorney, Justice Brown in 1967 was elected to the Cleveland Municipal Court. In December 1971, he was appointed by then Gov. John J. Gilligan to the Supreme Court of Ohio, where he served until January 1973, after which he was appointed to the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He was elected to a six-year term in 1974 and re-elected in 1980. In 1986, he declined to run for re-election. Justice Brown was appointed to the Ohio Board of Regents in November 1984 and served as secretary of the board. He joined the law firm of Weston Hurd Fallon Paisley and Howley as a partner and practiced law from 1987 until his death in 1993.
Justice Brown's widow, Phyllis, attended and was recognized during the ceremony, and their three surviving children participated in the ceremony. Leslie A. Brown-Vincent, Lloyd O. Brown Jr. and Raymond S. Brown offered remarks about their father, while the two sons presented the portrait to the Supreme Court.
Brown-Vincent said her father faced many obstacles and challenges in his life and professional career with drive, determination and confidence. Living in a city (Baton Rouge, La.) well-known for its food, and particularly its gumbo, she listed portions of a "Justice Lloyd O Gumbo" recipe. She said the base or foundation of the gumbo, the roux, was family, education and people or community.
As an example of passing along a lifelong love of learning, Brown-Vincent said Justice Brown offered as an incentive a car if each of his children achieved the dean's list in college, which each of them did. "We learned that dedication and focus can have a great return," she said. She also spoke of her father's value of loyalty, his love of telling jokes and his active involvement in the community.
The Justices of the Supreme Court accepted the portrait during an open session of Court. Chief Justice Eric Brown, who offered brief introductory remarks, noted that Justice Brown replaced his friend and the first African-American member of the Supreme Court - Justice Robert M. Duncan - who also attended the ceremony.
About the Artist:
Norma E. Fleming was the Supervisor of Reading, English and Language Arts for the Cleveland City Schools until her retirement in 1993. Pursuing her interest in portraiture, she attended Cuyahoga Community College and has exhibited in the Cleveland area. Mrs. Fleming is the widow of Judge Charles Fleming, a former administrative and presiding judge of the Cleveland Municipal Court.
The portrait, painted by artist Norma A. Fleming, will hang in Room 107 in the Ohio Judicial Center, which serves as the home of the Supreme Court.