Les Brown is a former American politician, TV host, and radio DJ who is widely regarded as one of the world’s most inspirational speakers. With his speeches on practically every topic imaginable, he has changed the lives of countless people over the last four decades. As a member of the ‘Ohio House of Representatives,’ he drew attention and later went on to host his own show, ‘The Les Brown Show,’ where he encouraged people to pursue their dreams and to repeat the phrase “it’s possible,” emphasizing the importance of seeking solutions rather than pondering problems. Les Brown mentioned in an interview that television is simply a medium for him to empower the masses. Despite having no formal education beyond high school to support his aspirations, he went on to found Les Brown Unlimited, Inc. and is the author of the best-selling book ‘Live Your Dreams.’ He has interviewed some of the world’s best business brains and worked closely with them in the boardroom throughout his career. As an orator, he has received numerous awards and is now known as “The Motivator.”
Early life and childhood
Leslie Calvin Brown was born on February 17, 1945, in a rundown building in Liberty City, Miami, as a twin with his brother Wesley. Leslie and his brother were born as a result of their biological mother’s extramarital affair.
After conceiving them, their mother traveled to Florida in secret to give birth to them, and within three weeks, she had them ready for adoption. Mamie Brown, a compassionate 38-year-old spinster who worked in a coffee shop, adopted both brothers when they were six weeks old.
He went to formal school with his sibling, but by grade five, his teachers thought he was a misfit and cognitively slow in compared to other kids since he was more prone to seeking attention and was a bad student.
He began to believe his teachers’ assessments of him and regarded himself as a slow learner, but his adoptive mother disagreed.
His mother and one of his high school instructors saw his potential, and with their help, he was able to summon a sense of purpose in his life. He never stopped learning and continued to educate himself after graduating from high school.
Beginning of a Career
His first employment was as a sanitation worker, but it didn’t satisfy his thirst for knowledge. As a result, he resorted to radio broadcasting. With his determination to become a radio jockey, he worked odd jobs at a local radio station.
He learned everything he needed to know about being a radio DJ at the radio junction. He got a part-time job at the crossroads on a lucky day when the station’s jockey was too inebriated to broadcast live. As a result, the owner eventually agreed to let him spend a day in the shoes of an RJ. Brown’s abilities impressed him so much that he made him a permanent RJ.
He moved to Ohio after many years at the radio junction in search of a better opportunity with a high-ranking radio show, where he eventually became the junction’s manager.
This increased his obligations and increased his social awareness. As a result, he turned to activism. He began spreading political consciousness and became embroiled in a number of issues, forcing him to resign from the radio station.
Career as a politician and orator
Mike Williams, the station’s news junction director, pushed him to compete for a position in the Ohio State Legislature’s 29th House District when he was working at the junction.
He was a member of the legislature for three times. He was also named chairman of the ‘Human Resources Committee’ in his third term. However, his adoptive mother became ill around the same time, so he had to vacate the seat and care for her.
Despite this, he continued to raise awareness, establishing a young job training program and eventually becoming a motivational speaker.
With his book ‘Live Your Dreams,’ he also became an author, and it became a bestseller in a matter of weeks. His book motivates readers to create objectives and pursue them.
He went to Detroit in the middle of the 1980s and rented an office from an attorney. He worked into the wee hours of the morning and often slept on his bare office floor.
A Speaker Who Inspires
When he taped a series of motivational lectures for Public Broadcasting Service –TV in 1990, he reached a wider audience. His remarks were not just aimed at graduates and corporate executives, but also at prison inmates and children with special needs.
In an interview with ‘Upscale,’ he said that his talks were a means of “paying forward” the support he received from his family and friends to society.
In 1993, he began his own television show, ‘The Les Brown Show,’ with the goal of finding solutions to normal people’s concerns. However, due to backlash for his strong convictions, the show was replaced by a new series called ‘Rolonda.’
After his show was canceled, he worked for a short time at the New York radio station ‘WRKS.’ He then left his job to concentrate only on motivational speaking.
In a program named ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,’ he collaborated closely with John C. Maxwell and his staff in gathering information about world leaders and professional speakers.
By 1998, the empire he had built as a speaker was thriving. His television appearances, motivational seminars, and public speaker training brought in almost $4 million per year for the company.
Major Projects of Les Brown
In Denmark, Canada, and Dubai, Les Brown has given motivational speeches. He’s traveled the world inspiring and pushing individuals to overcome challenges, and he’s been asked to participate in reinforcement programs on numerous occasions.
His second book, ‘It’s Not Over Until You Win: How to Become the Person You Always Wanted to Be-No Matter What the Obstacle,’ was published in 1996. The book, which included his ideas on everything from marriage to the media, was hailed by ‘Publishers Weekly’ as his best, with “his natural magnetism from podium to page.”
‘Choosing Your Future,’ his audio series, is by far his best audio release to date, with worldwide distribution.
Achievements & Awards
He won his first award from the ‘National Speakers Association’ in 1989. He received the CPAE’s ‘Council Peers Award of Excellence,’ making him the first African-American to do so.
He was also honored by the ‘National Speakers Association’ with the prestigious ‘Golden Gavel Award’ for his powerful leadership and success addresses.
He was also named one of the “Top Five Outstanding Speakers” of all time by Toastmasters International in 1991.
Personal History and Legacy
In 1995, Les Brown married Gladys Maria Knight, commonly known as “Empress of Soul,” a prominent American singer-songwriter and actress. Their marriage, however, only lasted a few years, and they divorced in 1997.
Calvin is the oldest of his nine children, with Patrick, Ayanna, Ona, Tad, Talia, Sumaya, Serena, and John-Leslie Brown following closely behind.
Estimated Net Worth
As of January 2022, He estimated Lе rоwn’s net worth to be around $15 million. His tеlеvоn еrе аnd rоlе а а rаdо осkеу provide the majority of his net worth.
In 1997, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.