Running As His Own Man: RONALD BROWN

It's a long way from Harlem's Theresa Hotel to chairing the Democratic Party, but RONALD BROWN may get there -- and become the nation's most prominent black official

As a freshman at Middlebury College, where he was the only black in his class, Ron Brown found himself rushed by the most prestigious fraternities on campus. It was a welcome embrace for the young man whose move from Harlem to rural Vermont had been, he recalls, "a pretty heavy transition." There was one problem: the fraternity he chose, Sigma Phi Epsilon, like most others, had a racial restriction in its charter.

In the weeks that followed, there was an intense debate at the frat house. Everyone liked Ron and agreed that he would make a good member, but they worried...

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