Dividing Line: RONALD HARMON BROWN: 1941-1996


FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS, the first week of April has often been a time when their heroes have died. In 1950 it was blood-plasma pioneer Dr. Charles R. Drew. In 1968 it was Martin Luther King Jr. Last week it was Carl Stokes of Cleveland, the first black big-city mayor, and Ron Brown, Bill Clinton's Secretary of Commerce, who at 54 perished doing what he always did best: trying to make deals.

Brown will be remembered more as the Frank Robinson than the Jackie Robinson of big-league politics--that is, as a star manager instead of a player. Most black leaders make their...

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