Justice Richard A. Brown was born in Brooklyn and grew up in the Cambria Heights neighborhood of Queens, NY. He graduated from Hobart College in 1953 and New York University School of Law in 1956. He was admitted to the Bar in October 1956. Brown served as counsel for the New York State Senate and Assembly and at the 1967 New York State Constitutional Convention, and for four years he served as New York City’s Legislative Representative in Albany.
Brown joined the bench in 1973, serving as a Judge of the Criminal Court and then as Supervising Judge of the Brooklyn Criminal Court. In 1976 he was designated an Acting Justice of the State Supreme Court, and in this capacity presided over the arraignment of the “Son of Sam” serial killer David Berkowitz. In November 1977, Brown was elected to the Supreme Court of Queens County. He served as the chief legal advisor to Governor Hugh L. Carey until he returned to the Supreme Court in 1981. In 1982, Brown was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department by Gov. Carey, and was twice re-designated to this position by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo.
Brown left the Appellate Division on June 1, 1991 to serve as the District Attorney of Queens County. That year, he was elected to a full term as District Attorney, winning reelection in 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007.
Additionally, he has served as President of the New York State District Attorneys Association, Chair of the New York Prosecutors Training Institute, and has been a member of the New York State, City, and Queens County Bar Associations.
He is married to Rhoda and has three children, Karen, Todd, and Lynn, and two grandchildren.
“District Attorney Richard A. Brown Biography.” Queens District Attorney’s Office. 2006. Web. 09 Sept. 2011. http://www.queensda.org/dabiography.html.
Finn, Robin. “A Prosecutor’s Job: Explaining the ‘Inexplicable’.” New York Times (1923-Current file): B4. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Dec 01 2006. Web. 22 Sep. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/93060131?accountid=8012.
“Richard A. Brown.” Biographical information sheets. Appellate Division, Second Department Library, Brooklyn.