The “W” in Joe W. Brown Memorial Park is important, in order to differentiate between Joe Brown, “The Boxer”, and Joe W. Brown, (1897-1959), “The Philanthropist” who is the namesake of Joe W. Brown Memorial Park, located in Eastern New Orleans. Both Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown (1896-1989) moved to New Orleans in the mid 1920(s). The Browns came from humble beginnings and later acquired wealth through investments in real estate and oil. Joe W. Brown became established as one of Louisiana’s largest oil producers because of his drilling in Valentine Field, Lafourche Parish, in 1946 until his death in 1959. In addition, The Browns owned and raced thoroughbred horses throughout the country. Their horses raced under the signature colors, white with a black “B”, and black stars. Some of their famous horses were “Cabildo,” “Brownie,” and “Tenacious.” The vast majority of The Browns charitable endeavors were anonymous, except for a shelter for the New Orleans SPCA and the Memorial Recreation Center in Joe W. Brown Park. The donation of 163 acres of property by Joe W. & Dorothy Dorsett Brown in 1957, was estimated to be valued in excess of one million dollars at that time.
The Browns charitable legacy continues today through the efforts of the Foundation, operated by dedicated, long time friend and employee of the Browns, Mr. D. Paul Spencer.