Millions of viewers know James Brown as a sports commentator and former athlete. Brown hosts The NFL Today on CBS with his colleagues Dan Marino, Bill Cowher, Shannon Sharp, Boomer Esiason and Charley Casserly. Brown also hosts Inside The NFL alongside analysts Phil Simms, Cris Collinsworth and Warren Sapp on Showtime. He hosted CBS’s Super Bowl pre-game show in 2007 for its coverage of Super Bowl XLI in Miami and will have the same role this season for CBS Sports’ Super Bowl XLIV broadcast. What many fans may not know is how he rose from a middle-class home to earn a scholarship to Harvard and a chance at a professional sports career before moving on to broadcast journalism. His memoir, Role of a Lifetime: Reflections on Faith, Family and Significant Living relays how he found the role he was meant to play, highlighting both the good and bad decisions he made along the way, sharing with audiences how to discover life’s purpose for themselves.
At the podium, Brown draws on the lessons he memorializes in Role of a Lifetime, from his faith and life experiences to guide audiences to find fulfillment and significance. He offers values and encouragement to others of all generations, assisting them in their search for meaning in navigating a world that increasingly promotes transient values, if any at all. He believes that shortcuts and gimmicks are counterproductive to a person’s success and provides hope that there is a God who cares about them and their futures. He illustrates how we live in a world that all too often operates under the overriding template of self-promotion, embracing a “hooray for me” attitude, and which measures success in increasingly small timeframes dotted with markers of temporal value.
Throughout his career Brown has earned numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Studio Host for The NFL Today (2007) and FOX NFL Sunday (1998, 1999). He was honored with the 2009 Dick Schaap Memorial Award for Media Excellence; the 2007 Maxwell Football Club’s Excellence in Broadcasting Award; the Dallas All Sports Association Award for Excellence in Sports Journalism; and was the first recipient of the annual Pat Summerall Award in 2006, at Super Bowl XL in Detroit. In 2005, he was honored with the Director’s Award for Broadcasting from The 100 Black Men of America and the Greater Washington Urban League’s Sam Lacy Award 2005. He was the 2002 recipient of the International Black Broadcasters Association’s Broadcasting Excellence Award and was chosen as 1999 Sportscaster of the Year (Studio Host) by the American Sportscaster Association. Brown was also awarded the Golden Mike Award (1998) by the Black Broadcasters Alliance, two NATAS Emmys (DC chapter) including the Glenn Brenner Award for excellence in sportscasting (1998), and the Quarterback Club of Washington’s Sportscaster of the Year Award (1996).
Also in 2009, Brown accepted the role of AARP’s Community Ambassador, in which he connects with their 40 million members to educate them on the importance of giving back to their communities and encourage them to make a difference by living life to the fullest.
Brown graduated from Harvard with a degree in American Government. A standout on the basketball court, he received All-Ivy League honors in his last three seasons at Harvard University and captained the team in his senior year. He was selected as a fourth-round draft pick by the NBAs Atlanta Hawks and a seventh-round pick by the Denver Nuggets. He began his career in Washington, DC as play-by-play announcer for Home Team Sports.
He is a co-founder and principal of the Brown Technology Group, a certified minority owned and operated information technology company, and is a founding partner of the Washington Nationals. No stranger to charitable efforts, Brown hosts the Gridiron Gala, featuring “The JB Awards” where NFL players are honored for their outstanding community service. The annual event raises needed funds for Special Olympics DC. He has also worked on behalf of Darrell Green’s Youth Life Foundation, the Neimann Pick Disease Foundation and the Marrow Foundation, among numerous other charities and foundations.
Brown resides with his wife Dorothy in Maryland. He has one daughter, Katrina. Katrina and her husband John have two daughters.