Former Connecticut Speaker of the House Nelson C.L. Brown has died at the age of 89, a family spokesman said
Brown, a Republican from Glastonbury, presided over the House of Representatives in the late 1950s and remained active for decades afterward in lobbying for open government legislation.
Mitchell Pearlman, a close friend and former Freedom of Information Commission director, said Nelson died late Wednesday. His cause of death was not immediately disclosed, but his health had been declining in recent years.
“Former Speaker of the House Nelson Brown represented the very best of public service. Upon hearing the news today, people who knew him reflected on his personality, his charisma and his elegance – he was an institution at the Capitol. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends, family and loved ones,” Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said in a statement released on Thursday.
"Former Speaker Nelson Brown was a true gentleman. He was always easy to work with, loved the State of Connecticut and its people, and worked hard to make this a better place. Our thoughts are with his family and friends today," House Speaker Christopher Donovan said in a statement.
Brown graduated in 1940 from Fitch High School in Groton and was a radio broadcaster in southeastern Connecticut before and during some of his legislative service.
He was also active in the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and Connecticut Council for Freedom of Information.
Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced on Thursday.