SocialMiami Remembers: DON BROWNE
The renowned television executive and co-founder of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program is remembered by Jennifer Valoppi.
On August 30th my dear friend, renowned television executive, and co-founder of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program, Don Browne, passed away peacefully in his Miami Beach home.
Don was a visionary leader and a long-time champion of women and minorities in the workplace. Whether it was through his work at CBS News, as VP of NBC Network News, President & GM of NBC6 Miami, or President of Telemundo Communications Group, Don’s fairness, compassion, and wisdom, made television and the news business a better place.
Don was my former boss at NBC & NBC 6, and the reason I came to Miami. When I pitched him the idea for Women of Tomorrow, he did not hesitate to throw the weight of the television station behind it, and Women of Tomorrow was born.
Having grown up extremely poor, Don was an unlikely candidate to oversee the Today Show, launch Dateline NBC, run Telemundo, or be inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Yet he did all those things and so much more.
Don knew full well what it meant to overcome challenges. As Don always said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
He was an inspiration to all of us who knew him. At the end, despite his struggles with brain cancer, he was positive and upbeat as always, filled with wonderful stories, and happy to “share sunsets” overlooking the Intracoastal, as he liked to say, with family and friends.
Don was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather and he now joins his beloved wife Maria, who passed away almost two years ago. He is survived by his sons Chris and Ryan, Chris’ wife Julie, and grandchildren Adelia and Milo.
As Chris and Ryan say in this very personal tribute you can find here – Don left this life the same way he lived it, grateful.
I am grateful to have known him. A scholarship fund is being established in Don’s name.
With Deepest Sympathy,
Founder & President
Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program
Jennifer Valoppi is a multi-Emmy Award winning TV journalist, award winning author and social entrepreneur, who has been recognized 10 times on the floor of the United States Congress and is a recipient of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s Points of Light Award, the highest honor in Florida.
As an author, Valoppi recently re-released her best-selling sci-fi novel, Certain Cure: Where Science Meets Religion (Murray Hill Press 2020/2008) and is in the process of writing book two of the trilogy. THE WAY IT WAS: My Life with Frank Sinatra (Hachette Books/October 24, 2017), is a candid and eye-opening look at Frank Sinatra, a personal friend of Valoppi’s, written by Valoppi as told by his long-time manager, Eliot Weisman.
As Founder & President of the Women of Tomorrow Mentor & Scholarship Program, Valoppi designed and directs the unique program aimed at helping minority and at-risk young women life up to their full potential. WOT currently mentors 4000 girls annually in 160 public high schools in South Florida and Metro Detroit with a network of hundreds of highly accomplished professional women. Now in its 26th year, 24,000 young women have been touched by the program and over $8 million dollars in college scholarships have been awarded to its graduates.
Valoppi makes frequent appearances discussing issues of journalistic ethics, female empowerment, mentoring, and her books. She is a veteran TV news anchor and host in Miami, New York and Los Angeles and has hosted numerous network, local, cable and nationally syndicated programs as well as consulting on and appearing in film.
Valoppi was the lead anchor at NBC6 Miami from 1994-2005, taking the station from a distant #2 to #1 in the ratings in a matter of two months and remaining there through her tenure as anchor.