Maurice “Maury” Brown, a lifelong philanthropist and business owner in Cheyenne, has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s Community Spirit Award.
Brown, 83, was born outside Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and spent his first few years in Iowa. His family moved to Cheyenne when he was 9, following his uncle, who started a grocery store here. Growing up, Brown worked selling newspapers, shining shoes and later at his family’s businesses. He graduated from Cheyenne High School in 1951.
Brown said he told his mother he wasn’t going to college while his parents worked long hours at their store. I said, “Mom and Dad, I’m not going to school for three or four hours a day, four or five days a week, while you’re sitting here working 10 hours a day, seven days a week. I’m just not going to do it,” he said.
“None of us can even comprehend the amount of charity that he’s provided to this community and this state because he’s not in it for the credit, and it’s even hard to find out how much he has done.” Governor Matt Mead said.
But Brown doesn’t flaunt how much he’s donated, and it’s difficult to try to add it up.
Some of Brown’s philanthropy includes: buying city licenses for children who want to sell snacks at Frontier Days; buying animals each year at the 4-H Livestock Sale and gifting them to local charities; buying thousands of dollars worth of bus tokens to provide to riders on the Cheyenne Transit city bus service; donating money to high school athletics programs; and donating to countless organizations.
Brown cares deeply for Cheyenne and Wyoming, and credits the region for helping him be successful.
“We have quality people in Wyoming, and I’m proud to be one of them,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else.”