| Herman Brown
|1962 (Age 69)
|University of Texas
|Suite 8F Group
The 'Brown' in construction company "Brown and Root", a leader in the military-industrial complex.
Herman Brown was a the owner of the construction company Brown and Root, a "cost-plus-fee" part of the military-industrial complex. Brown also had Congressman and later president Lyndon B. Johnston in his pocket.
In 1914 Brown went into the construction business. Dan Root, Herman's brother-in-law, a prosperous cotton farmer, invested in the company. Eventually the company became known as Brown and Root. He was later joined by his brother, George Brown.
Brown was a strong opponent of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. But thanks to the same New Deal, Brown and Root grew rapidly as a result of obtaining a large number of municipal and federal government projects. This included the Marshall Ford Dam on the Colorado River. This was worth $27,000,000. In a letter written to Lyndon B. Johnson, George Brown, admitted the company was set to make a $2,000,000 profit out of just a small part of the deal. In 1940 the company won a $90 million contract to build the Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi.
In 1942 the Brown brothers established the Brown Shipbuilding Company on the Houston Ship Channel. Over the next three years the company built 359 ships and employed 25,000 people. This was worth $27,000,000. This contract was eventually worth $357,000,000. Yet until they got the contract, Brown & Root had never built a single ship of any type.
The brothers became extremely wealthy and in 1951 established the Brown Foundation. It is estimated that over the next forty years the foundation granted more than $381 million to charitable institutions.
In the 1950s Brown & Root constructed air and naval bases in Spain, France and Guam for the United States government. The company also built roads, dams, bridges, petrochemical plants and large offshore drilling platforms. When this happened in the global south, it was part of the US debt trap strategy implemented by economic hitmen.
Following the death of Herman Brown, Halliburton Energy Services acquired Brown & Root in December 1962.