Les Brown is an older American motivational speaker and a host who was remembered for a show he hosted named „The Les Brown Show“. He was also into politics for a while.
He was born as Leslie Calvin Brown on February 17, 1945 in Miami, Florida in United States. Leslie was born into a poor family in Liberty City in Miami. After he was born, as one of the twins, he was soon in the adopting system sice his mother decided she cannot raise him.
His mother was married at the time but she couldn’t take care of herself and she had some bad habits which rose the question if she would be a fit mother. In the end, she left her kids on adoption on her own, being overwhelmed with two babies in her life.
He was adopted by a single woman named Mamie Brown. Mamie was an excellent mother to him and always encouraged him in anything he did. He and his brother found a warm home at Mamie and she never let them feel abandoned.
He lost cofindence in himself after he was told that he has lower capabilities while he was a pupil in elementary school. Unfortunately, teachers didn’t recognize that his problem wasn’t in his learning capabilities but in his character.
Luckily, his guardian angel Mamie helped him to suceed and reach his potential. She always told him that they were wrong and that he could be whatever he wanted to be.
Les grew up as a great speaker and wanted to find his career in entertainment. He wanted to start his career on the radio, so he started showing up at the same station time and time again, asking for a job.
He was hired there but not as a radio speaker but he wouldn’t give up on his dreams.
One day he was given a chance to show his skills, after the regular DJ was fired from his workplace. He showed his magic and soon became a popular radio host. The owner of the station couldn’t be more surprised when he saw how natural was Les in front of the microphone.
After a while, he left the radio station and got engaged in politics. He won in the elction to the Ohio House of Representatives and served there for a while. This was a big success for a radio host but he earned it because he was the voice of people and their problems through his radio show.
Since he was better in public appearances, he decided to take his chance on television. He became a host at PBS and at the same time he started his own business and a company called „Les Brown Enterprises“.
In 2011/12 he was a motivational speaker and worked on KFWB radio program. He found being a motivational speaker very motivating for himself too. He saw how his words strongly affect people and he decided to make a career out of it.
He was a winner of many awards, and he even received an Emmy in 1991, for a motivational program „You Deserve with Les Brown“. He managed to become popular nationwide, with his strong voice and truthfull attitude towards people.
From 1982 until 1988, he was one of the jurors for Peabody Awards. This award is very special because it is given to the most motivating and poweful work on media such as TV, radio and internet.
In 1993, he started hosting the show he created himself called „The Les Brown Show“, but in 1994 his show was replaced by Rolanda Watt’s show.
In 1995, Leslie married Gladys Knight, the „Empress of Soul“, but the marriage lasted for only two years. They got divorced in 1997.
He was in many relationships but he only married Gladys Knight, a respected singer. He has 10 children with different women.
In 1992, Les was listed in Top 5 America’s speakers by Toastmasters International.
The beginning of the 80’s was very rough for Les because he was broke and lonely. But after he became a motivational speaker everything started getting better. At the beginning of the 90’s he was very popular and went on speaking tours.
He gained money from selling motivational tapes and books. In that period of hus career, he became even more aware of all the goodness he provides people that he began working and travelling even more.
He shows his great character by donating 20% of his income to programs devoted to drug prevention. He does this nit only because he is aware of the bad situation surrounding drug overuse in the United States, but also in remembrance of his mother whom he never met.
In 1992, he wrote bestseller titled „Live Your Dreams“.
Leslie’s mother gave her kids up because she became pregnant by her lover and didn’t want her husband to know. This was something that later left a big impact on everyone’s lives.
He was lucky to go to Booker T. Washington High School because there he met LeRoy Washington who was a speech instructor and who realized that Leslie was wrongly marked as slow.
After he finished high school he got employed as a sanitation worker until he found his way to the radio.
The owner of the radio station hired him just to stop his boring questions and he worked at the radio doing all kinds od odd jobs. Luck smiled to him when the radio DJ came drunk to work and Brown replaced him.
At the end of the 60’s Leslie relocated to Columbus in Ohio where he was a DJ and afterwards a broadcast manager. This was a big step and he was happy to do so.
He became an activist and more socially conscious which was encouraged by Mike Williams, a radio station director who was an activist himself. Unfortunately, Les was fired by the owners of the station, who were scared of the controversy Les might get himself into.
Mike Williams motivated Les to ran for the Ohio State Legislator which he did. He won the election and became the chairman of the Human Resources Committe.
He left his position and returned to his sick mother in 1981, showing his respect to the woman who made him the man he is today.
He was in Miami with his mother but he continued working on social issues that bothered him, so he had training programs and gave motivational speeches at community centres.
His encounter with Zig Ziglar was a finger of destiny. Les was impressed by this motivational speaker so he decided to become one himself. The part of his life following that was very hard. He moved to Detroit, and rented an office in which he slept too.
His first gigs were in grade schools, after what he became a speaker in high schools. In 1989 he was already so popular that he recieved the Peers Award of Excellence. This was a special thing for him because he was the first African-American person to receive it.
He got nicknamed „The Motivator“ and this nickname is still following him.
In 1990, he recorded his motivational sppeches for PBS TV and soon he became known all over the country.
He started giving international speeches for many corporations, such as General Electric and P&G.
He found time to speak to students with special education, always remembering his tough days in school. He wanted to describe how hard it was for him to be outcasted as a “slow student” although he was really bright.
In August 1995, Brown married a famous singer Gladys Knight. They were bth married before.
They got married in Las Vegas in Nevada, surrounded only by their nearest friends and family. It was a very emotional day for all of the attendants.
In 1996, Les published his second book with a very long title: „It’s Not to Be- No Matter What the Obstacle“.
He was hired at WBLS the same years but half a year later he discovered that he has to leave this job and that he has medical issues and has to have a surgery in healing prostate cancer.
He shared an information that he will divorce Gladys but that they will stay friends. This remained true. He was involved in making a proigram „The Good, The Bad and The Ugly“. Alongside John C. Maxwell.
He travelled all over the world to give his speeches, from Denmark to Dubai. It is inspiring for him to travel which is great for his motivational speeches too.
His audio book called „Choosing Your Future“ broke all records in sales. It was a true hit and everyone seemed to like it. He is a winner of „Golden Gavel Award“ for his achievements.
Les has ten children and already a lot of grandchildren. He has five sons (Calvin, Patrick, John Andrew,Thad and John-Leslie) and five daughters (Sumaya, Serena, Ona, Ayanna and Tayloria).
Full name: Leslie Calvin Brown
Date of birth: February 17, 1945
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States
Profession: motivational speaker, author, radio host, TV host, philanthropist
Net Worth: $100 million