Leslie Calvin “Les” Brown (born February 17, 1945) is a motivational speaker, former Ohio politician, popular author, radio DJ, and former host of The Les Brown Show. As a politician, he is a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives. As a motivational speaker, he uses the catch phrase, “It’s possible,” and teaches people to follow their dreams as he learned to do.
Les Brown was born with his twin brother, Wesley, in a low-income section of Miami, Florida in an abandoned building. He was subsequently given up for adoption and adopted by Mamie Brown, a then 38-year-old single woman who worked as a cafeteria attendant and domestic assistant. He was declared “educably mentally retarded” while in grade school. Despite the obvious self-esteem issues this created, with the encouragement of his mother and assistance by a helpful teacher in high school, he learned how to reach his full potential, a key point in many motivational speeches he gives now.
As derived from many of Brown’s speeches, he first decided to get into public radio and kept returning to the same radio station time and time again looking for a break, and it wasn’t until the on-air failures of the afternoon DJ that he took his break in radio into his own hands and was hired full-time as on-air talent. Upon his termination from the radio station, he ran for election in the Ohio House of Representatives and won. After leaving the Ohio state legislature, he decided to get into television and eventually ended up on PBS. He also formed Les Brown Enterprises in order to support his newest career as a motivational speaker and is now also on KFWB in California on a daily syndicated radio program. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he also won many local and national awards for excellence and he has an Emmy to his name.
In 1993, he began hosting a new talk show, The Les Brown Show, which began airing on September 6, 1993. After nearly four months, it went on hiatus on December 3, 1993,and on January 17, 1994, King World Productions replaced this with Rolonda, a show hosted by Rolonda Watts.
Les Brown was married to Gladys Knight in 1995 but divorced in 1997.