Dr. Luther Brown was born in central Illinois, and spent most of his early life in Elmhurst, Illinois, west of Chicago. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmhurst College, and Masters and PhD from The Ohio State University. He taught at George Mason University in northern Virginia, for twenty-three years, and moved to Delta State University in 2000.
Dr. Brown was formally trained as an ecologist, and has written two text books in that field. He was a founding member of the integrated studies College at George Mason University, and also directed The Center for Field Studies at George Mason, and The Bahamas Environmental Research Center on Andros Island, the Bahamas.
In 2000, Dr. Brown became the founding Director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning at Delta State University, here he is also Associate Dean for Delta Regional Development. The mission of the Delta Center is to promote the heritage of the Mississippi Delta through various educational programs that include classes, workshops, and study-tours focused on the Blues, Civil Rights, the Mississippi River, and other aspects of Delta culture. The Center receives funding through Delta State University, and grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the History Channel, and numerous other supporters.
In 2011, the Delta Center was chosen as the manager of the newly created Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area which was established by federal law (Omnibus Federal Land Management Act of 2009). In this role, the Center works closely with the National Park Service.
Dr. Brown has published many academic articles and regularly presents at national, regional and local meetings. An example of his writing about the Delta can be found at http://www.southernspaces.org/contents/2006/brown/1a.htm. He is also a founding member of the Mississippi Blues Commission, past Chairman of the Mississippi Blues Foundation, and an active participant in the growing Mississippi Blues Heritage Trail (see www.msbluestrail.org) . The Delta Center is also the fiscal agent for the Mississippi Blues Commission and the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. Dr. Brown has talked about the Deltaís rich cultural heritage on Good Morning America, Mississippi Public Broadcastingís Walt Graysonís Mississippi Roads, the Golf Channelís Golf with Style Mississippi, the History Channelís Mississippi, and two Japanese TV shows. He has presented heritage tours for the Culinary Institute of America, Living Blues Magazine, the Oxford Conference for the Book, and numerous travel groups and visiting college classes.
Dr. Brown was named Mississippi Humanities Instructor of 2003 by the Mississippi Humanities Council. In 2008, the Delta Center for Culture and Learning received the Public Humanities Achievement award from the Humanities Council, and Dr. Brown was elected to the Councilís Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of the Mississippi Historical Society. He has received grant support from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.