Martin Shallenberger Brown, a former chairman and CEO of Tennessee distillery titan Jack Daniel's, has died at 81 after a three-year fight with cancer.
He died Sunday, daughter Susannah Scott-Barnes confirmed.
Born on May 27, 1938, in Louisville, Kentucky, Brown was a descendant of George Garvin Brown, the founder of the Brown-Forman Corporation. The Brown-Forman Corporation is one of the biggest American alcohol companies and owns Jack Daniel's, among many other brands. Martin Brown was the son of Sara “Sally” Shallenberger Brown and W. L. Lyons Brown, the chairman of the Brown-Forman Corporation.
Martin Brown first began his career after graduating from Columbia University in 1962 in New York City. At that time, he married Elizabeth “Betty“ Moorhead, a friend since childhood, and moved to the area of Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Brown began work at the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg but left Tennessee to serve for two years as an officer in the Army. Brown later returned to the Volunteer State and settled in Nashville, working in the sales office at Jack Daniel's. Brown served in many roles in the company until retirement in 1986. At the time of his retirement, he was the chairman and CEO of Jack Daniel's.
Despite retiring from Jack Daniel's, Brown continued to host Brown-Forman managers in Nashville. After leaving Jack Daniel's, he began his second career as a chairman of British biotechnology company Therapeutic Antibodies Inc., which has an office in Nashville. He chaired the company during its start-up period until its first public offering at the London Stock Exchange in 1996. He also served on the board of Aegis Sciences Corporation and Micro Craft Inc. and worked as the director of the Nashville Bank and Trust Company.
Brown also served as a board member or officer for many organizations that allowed him to work within the Nashville community and beyond, including Land Trust for Tennessee, Southern Environmental Law Center, Nashvillle Chamber of Commerce, Fisk University, Montgomery Bell Academy, Harpeth Hall School, Cheekwood, National Parks Conservation Association, Tennessee chapter of the Nature Conservancy and Nashville Community Bail Fund.