- March 26, 1983
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Biographical / Historical
Sidney Brown (1925-2010) was a Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Oklahoma whom specialized in Eastern Asian history. Dr. Brown attended Southwestern College, but his undergraduate education was put on hold due to World War II. At age 17, Brown joined the Navy and entered into the V-12 program, a young men received a college education with a naval background, where he continued his history education. After moving around to different bases, Brown received his midshipman education at Notre Dame. Brown was recruited for the Japanese Language School at the University of Colorado by General Hindmarsh. From 1943 to 1946 he completed the 14-month intensive course in Japanese which sparked an interest in Eastern Asian studies. After the war, he continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, achieving a PhD in 1952. From 1952 to 1956, Brown taught history at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, before moving to the University of Oklahoma, where he taught East Asian history until 1995. Each year he taught a yearlong course in Japanese History that was very popular among students along with many other courses in Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian History. Brown was an important figure in the study of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Kido Takayoshi, and Okubo Toshimichi. Brown received the Japan Cultural Translation Prize of the Japan Translators Association for his biography and translation of Kido Takayoshi in 1986. He was a foreign research fellow at Tokyo University on three occasions and served 1 long visiting professorships at many distinguished universities. In 1999, he received the Jackson and Caroline Bailey Public Service Award of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs and in 2000, Brown was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. In 2010, Dr. Brown passed away after a long illness. His memory survives in the Sidney DeVere Brown Award which provides scholarship funds for undergraduate history students studying Asian history at the University of Oklahoma.