Razzano, Tiffany. “Dr. Robert Z. Brown, Former Dowling Professor, Dies”. Lionís Voice 30 March 2004, 8. (DCL Archives)

Dr. Robert Z. Brown, Former Dowling Professor, Dies

by Tiffany Razzano

Dr. Robert Z. Brown, Professor Emeritus of Biology at Dowling College, died of multiple myeloma on February 19 at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Maryland.

Brown was born in Jackson, Michigan on July 31, 1926. He attended Marquette University for a brief period. Before graduating from Swarthmore College in 1948 with a bachelor of arts degree in biology, he served in the navy during World War II. In 1951, he received his doctor of science degree from John Hopkins University’s School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Prior to teaching at Dowling, Brown was a professor at Colorado College and the University of Texas Institute of Marine Science. He also worked for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Public Health Service, and was a research associate for the American Museum of Natural History and John Hopkins University.

While in Colorado he served on the Board of Trustees for the National Parks Association and the School for Retarded Children and was also vice-president of the Widefield-Security School Board. When he lived on Long Island, he served as president of the Great River Community Association. Throughout his career, he published 15 papers on the topics of rodent control, rain forest ecology, and the water supply.

“During his professional career before coming to Dowling, his work required that he literally travel around the world,” said Stephen Shafer, Professor of Biology and Natural Sciences at Dowling College. “He was able to incorporate many of his world experiences into the subject matter of many of his courses, and his students were enthralled with the stories he would tell them.”

Brown is survived by his wife, Barbara Dwyer Brown, whom he married in 1971; his former wife, Frances Carey Brown of Middle Island, New York; one son, Raymond Z. Brown of Tucson, Arizona; three daughters, Simori Dan of University Place, Washington, Deborah Grady of Blue Point, New York, and Christine Campbell of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; two brothers, David R. Brown of Bel Air, and Deane W. Brown of Excelsior Springs, Missouri; and five grandchildren.

Besides teaching, Brown had many interests, including drawing and painting (at one time in his life he considered becoming a commercial artist,) gourmet cooking, reading, opera, classical music, sailing, furniture building, house remodeling, and boat building (he built himself a 42-foot sailing ketch that he called “Charon’s Ferry,” that he modeled after an antique oyster sloop).

“Dr. Brown was a giant of a man in many ways,” Shafer said. “Besides being 6′2″ tall, he was always a ‘presence’ in a crowd of people with his stories from around the world.”

Memorial contributions may be made to The Greenfield Library, St. John’s College, c/o Advancement Office, P.O. Box 2800, Annapolis, MD 21404.

Do you have information to add? Then please contact Diane Holliday.

Last Modified on May 11, 2012, at 03:56 PM by LPR

Questions - We Need Your Help!

Contribute Content

About Us

Dowling College Library Created Resources

Archives & Special Collections Digital Media - find maps, podcasts, wiki’s and timelines.

Related Links

AmericanTowns: Oakdale, NY

Explore the South Shore

Historic Houses Blog

Historic Long Island

Historic Newspapers

Long Island Oddities

Oakdale, NY

Local Museums and Historical Societies


Dowling College Library Homepage

Whats New

Bulletin Board