William Theodore ” Ted” Brown, Jr., J.D.


Visitation Details

Service Details
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM 10:00 AM
Friday, July 6, 2018
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Bordwine Funeral Home Green Hill Cemetery
203 Ohio Ave., Etowah, Tn 37331  Etowah, TN 
Interment Green Hill Cemetery
Saturday, July 7, 2018 10:00 AM










William Theodore (Ted) Brown, Jr., J.D., an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee, died July 3, 2018 at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville following a short illness. He was 69 years old. He lived in Knoxville, Tennessee and was Senior Lecturer in the U.T. Department of Political Science.

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, on June 7, 1949, Brown grew up in Etowah, Tennessee and graduated as the first Valedictorian of  Central High School of McMinn County in 1967. Mr. Brown graduated summa cum laude from UT in 1971 with a Bachelors Degree in History and obtained a J.D., in 1978 at Vanderbilt University School of  Law. Brown was a Veteran of  The United States Air Force.

He practiced law in Atlanta for twenty-five years, joining Kirkpatrick and Cody in its creditor’s rights  practice. Later he joined Long, Aldrich, and Norman in its financial restructuring practice.  Brown then returned to Knoxville in 2006 to begin his teaching career.  At U.T.  he taught Constitutional Law, Civil Rights and Liberties, Judicial Process, Tennessee Government, and Law in American Society. He also was Adjunct Professor of Law in American Legal History at the University of Tennessee’s College of Law.

Brown is the author of “The Formative Period in the History of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, 1796–1835,” in A History of the Tennessee Supreme Court (University of Tennessee Press, 2002), sponsored by the Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society, which was awarded the Tennessee Book Award by the Tennessee Historical Commission and the Tennessee Library Association as the most outstanding book on Tennessee history published during the year 2002.

Brown authored the entry for John Catron, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture:  Law and Politics, vol. 11 (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), and his book review of Matthew Warshauer’s Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law:  Nationalism, Civil Liberties, and Partisanship (University of Tennessee Press 2006) was published in the Winter 2008 number of The Tennessee Historical Quarterly.  He contributed biographical profiles of Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William J. Harbison, early Tennessee jurists John McNairy and John Overton, and U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee for inclusion in the Tennessee Historical Society’s Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture (1998).  He was co-editor, with Professor James W. Ely, Jr. of the Vanderbilt University School of Law, of Legal Papers of Andrew Jackson (University of Tennessee Press, 1987) and the author of “The Tennessee County Courts under the North Carolina and Territorial Governments:  The Davidson County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, 1783-1796, as a Case Study,” 32 Vanderbilt Law Review 349 (1979).

As an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Brown organized and catalogued Senator Kefauver’s papers and since has written several articles about Senator Kefauver, the law, and Tennessee political and legal history.  He was at work on a book based on his lecture, “Estes Kefauver and Political Leadership,” which was delivered as the Eighth Annual Estes Kefauver Scholars Lecture at Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tennessee, in February of 1995.  His interview discussing Senator Kefauver’s renowned investigation of organized crime was included in the A & E documentary “Las Vegas and the Power of Money,” which aired in 2002.

Brown served as a member of the U.S. Senate staff of U.S. Senator Albert Gore, Sr., 1969–1970, and Mrs. Gore (Pauline) strongly encouraged him to pursue a law degree at Vanderbilt. Senator and Mrs. Gore were mentors to Ted.

He was the son of the late William Theodore Brown, Sr., DDS, and Aileen Collins Brown of Etowah, TN.  He is survived by a close knit family. He is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Charles David Brown, DDS (Debbie), niece Mary Beth Bain (Jerreth), nephew Matthew Brown (Catie), great nephew David Spencer Brown, great niece Landrie Collins Bain, special friends, Bob Allen, Jim and Susan Spratt, James Spratt, and Matthew and  Molly Moye, as well as numerous friends, colleagues, and admiring students who stayed in touch through the years.

The family will assemble at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday July7, 2018 at the funeral home and proceed to Green Hill Cemetery for a 10:00 a.m. graveside service. The Rev. Rebecca A. Reed will be officiating.

Pallbearers will be Matthew Brown, Jerreth Bain, Bob Allen, Bruce Collins, Jim Spratt, and James Spratt. Bob, Bill, Jack, Jerry, and Wayne Collins and Clayton Brewer will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.

Family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00p.m. at the funeral home on Friday July 6, 2018.

Posted in: Obituaries

Leave a Comment (25) ↓


  1. Laura Humphrey July 26, 2018

    As one of Professor Brown’s students, I learned a new passion for Tennessee history, government, and humor. He was a grand story teller in the classroom. As his student, he had high expectations about learning Tennessee history, but it was in preparation for those who were looking to be Tennessee’s future.

    Thank you bow-tied Theodore Brown for your service and dedication to the students at UTK, our state, and our region. RIP

  2. Tayler Houston July 12, 2018

    Professor Brown was the best professor I had at Tennessee. When I started my first class with him, law school was a possibility in my future but nothing more. By the time I finished with Professor four classes later, I was armed with his recommendation and mentorship and ready to succeed at any school in the country. He prepared me better than anyone else because he cared more than anyone else. He was one of the professors you talk about and thank in every speech and opportunity you get because he inspired you to want more and be better. He will be truly missed.

  3. Evan Winburne July 10, 2018

    I took 2 of Professor Brown’s classes and loved them. His exam questions were the best. About 2 years ago after I graduated and decided not to go to law school, I bumped into him at Publix we talked for 20 minutes and he asked what I was doing and I informed him I work at Scripps. I invited him out gave him a tour of the campus and told me he was going to use me as an example to show kids who were unsure of law school that there were other careers out there for people unsure of what they wanted to do. A truly great professor and great human. RIP Dr. Brown

  4. Anna July 9, 2018

    My condolences to the family and friends of Professor Brown. May God be with you during this tough time.

  5. Stephen Boyette July 9, 2018

    Mr. Brown was my professor for three undergraduate courses at the University of Tennessee. I would recommend his courses to anyone and everyone who asked. He was so wise, kind, and thoughtful. I loved seeing his face light up when we stopped to make small talk between classes. He was an incredible role model for his students. He pushed us to study hard and set the bar higher every day. He was a consummate professional. He also helped me prep my team’s moot court cases for Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, which ended up causing quite a stir. His arguments were so good, they broke the competition. It was only fitting, as he took part in the first ever TISL summit and caused a filibuster. I don’t think I’ll ever meet another Ted Brown. I will miss him dearly and think of him often. Thank you for being my friend and role model Mr. Brown.

  6. Duncan A. Roush July 8, 2018

    So sorry to learn of Ted’s death on 7/6/2018 night, Ted worked ten years
    with me at Kilpatrick, Stockton & Cody. Ted will be missed much by me and by
    all who knew him. I thought very highly of Ted.

  7. Chris James July 7, 2018

    Ted was a lifetime friend. and the first Valedictorian at CHS. We all looked up to him for everything set out to do he done it the best. Loved his hometown, His school, His work and the History of Tenn. I could sit for hours and listen to him talk. Can’t imagine how good he was as a lecturer in law school. Wow! He will be missed but not forgotten. Chris James

  8. Mike Scoggins July 7, 2018

    David, very sorry to hear the sad news. Ted was always a such a nice guy. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  9. J. Blake Tate July 6, 2018

    Professor Brown was perhaps one of the wisest individuals that I have ever met in my life. The stories and experiences Professor Brown shared always amazed me and my classmates. I would always argue politics with him, most of the time it was on purpose just to see if he could argue back. Professor Brown was always able to argue back like he knew what he was arguing his entire life. I would not be in law school without the guidance of Professor Brown. Professor Brown was the only professor who sparked my interest in pursuing the study of law. I am very blessed to have gotten to talk to him back in May. While I will not be able to attend the visitation for friends, I will always be thinking of him when reflecting back on my time as a Undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee.

  10. Ashley Brown July 6, 2018

    My deepest sympathy’s for your family. Mr. Brown was one of my favorite professors at UT. I took every class he had to offer, he had great stories and insight to all things legal with a better memory of historical events than most history books. He further flourished my love and fascination for Consitutional law and taught be to look beyond what’s on the surface of matters as there is something much more interesting underneath. I’m honored that I had the opportunity to know him as a student and a friend. I’ll miss his bow ties and smile along with any story that involved his “old jalopy”, as he was a truly one of a kind person.

  11. Kay & Mike Williams July 6, 2018

    David and family: so sorry for your loss..prayers for comfort from us.

  12. Turner Spears July 6, 2018

    It was a privilege to take several courses under Professor Brown, who had a true love of the law and of teaching. He set an enormous precedent for all educators and his passing is a great loss to the University. I wish his family, loved ones, and fellow students the best during this time.

  13. Erin Favier July 6, 2018

    I am deeply saddened to hear of Professor Brown’s passing. I was lucky enough to be his student in two amazing classes. I appreciated his wit and humor, as well as his high expectations for his students. His vast knowledge of Tennessee’s political history was a true gift to his students. I know that he will be truly missed by his students and colleagues, and I will miss him. My deepest sympathy goes to his family.

  14. Katie Waldrop July 6, 2018

    I am so sorry to hear of Professor Brown’s passing. I was a student in his Law in American Legal History class at the University of Tennessee College of Law many years ago, and I will never forget the encouragement he gave me to pursue my research and writing. Ted was an intelligent, kind teacher, and he left his mark on me as I’m sure he did many other students through the years. My sincere condolences to his family. I know he will be greatly missed.

    Katie Waldrop, JD

  15. Don Yarbrough July 6, 2018

    My mother, Lucille, worked for Dr. W.T. Brown when Ted was just a small child. Ted meant much to my mother and she loved him just as as she loved all the other children who came to Dr. Brown’s office above the bank. Ted wrote me a wonderful letter when my mother passed away. That was sincere and thoughtful on Ted’s part. I am truly sorry about Ted’s passing.

  16. Joe Jarret July 5, 2018

    I was profoundly saddened to learn about Ted’s passing. Not only was he a colleague, but a friend whose company I will truly miss. Ted and I shared an affinity for bow ties, reminiscing about our military service, and our frequent chats about our respective legal careers that Ted dubbed, “Our high-minded, speculative talks about the law.” As I mentioned to our UT colleagues, “Ted was incredibly well-respected by the members of the federal and state bench and bar associations. He enjoyed the reputation as the consummate attorney who was not only a razor-sharp litigator in possession of an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, but someone who consistently maintained the highest ethical standards.” My deepest condolences to you all.

  17. Kaye Williams Burton July 5, 2018

    Prayers and condolences to David and his family. So sorry to hear of your brother’s passing. Only through prayer can we find peace after the loss on a loved one.

  18. Joe Jarret July 5, 2018

    I was profoundly saddened to learn about Ted’s passing. Not only was he a colleague, but a friend whose company I will sorely miss. Ted and I shared an affinity for bow ties, reminiscing about our military service, and our frequent chats about our respective legal careers that Ted dubbed, “Our high-minded, speculative talks about the law.” As I mentioned to our UT colleagues, “Ted was incredibly well-respected by the members of the federal and state bench and bar associations. He enjoyed the reputation as the consummate attorney who was not only a razor-sharp litigator in possession of an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, but someone who consistently maintained the highest ethical standards.” My deepest condolence to you all.

  19. Alan sanders July 5, 2018

    To family I love all family I keep in prayer

  20. Fredric J Sharpe July 5, 2018

    Wishing everyone peace at his passing. His Mother was my First Cousin.

  21. John Scheb July 5, 2018

    Ted was a dear friend and a wonderful colleague. My colleagues at UT and I are so saddened by his passing. He will be sorely missed.

  22. Bill and Angel Brewer July 5, 2018

    Ted was very influential in our son’s career path. He first mentored and encouraged him in his Undergraduate studies in the Political Science Department at UT and continued to encourage him in his studies at UT Law. We asked Ted to come and speak at our Law School graduation celebration dinner, and Ted did a beautiful job, winning over all of our family and friends present. He was a brilliant man whose legacy will live on in the young minds he influenced.

  23. Brandon Morrow July 5, 2018

    I was a student in Professor Brown’s first class at UT in 2006. Although he had left the practice of law for academia, I’m certain his role of a counselor – a role which all lawyers should hold in high esteem – was just as important to his students as it had been to his clients in years’ past. That certainly proved to be the case from my point of view.

    He was one of my best (and only) resources to consult about attending law school. Not having any lawyers in the family, Ted – as he became known to me over time – provided invaluable advice about law school and the practice itself. He even authored a letter of recommendation on my behalf when I applied to law schools. It was superbly written – which is more of a testament to his writing abilities than the letter’s subject matter. During and after law school, we would meet occasionally for lunch or coffee to catch up with one another. Our conversations often drifted from the law to McMinn County – a place held in special regard for us both as we both had family in Etowah and Englewood.

    I valued his counsel and his friendship. I am terribly saddened to learn of his passing. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the service on Friday, July 6 because I have a trial that afternoon. Although not normally a wearer of bowties, I will wear one on Friday in memory of him. Ted’s family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. Steve Beckham July 5, 2018

    I am so sorry to hear about Ted’s death. He and I worked together at Kilpatrick & Cody and we got together for lunch during a trip through Knoxville a couple of years ago. May condolences to the family.

  25. Sherry Higdon Miller July 5, 2018

    David and Family,

    Am so sorry to hear of Ted’s passing. It is a hard thing to lose a sibling especially when you share such a love and close bond. My prayers are with you and your family during this time. Just know that one day soon we will all be reunited with the ones we love that have gone before us to be with the Lord.

    Sherry Higdon Miller


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