Today, February 10, 1989, Mr. Ron H. Brown became the first African American to hold the Cabinet position of Democratic National Committee Chairman. He had other firsts as well. Mr. Brown was the first African-American appointed to the Cabinet post of Secretary of Commerce in 1992. He worked on Ted Kennedy’s campaign in 1988, he helped Clinton win in 1992 and was Jesse Jackson’s Convention manager.
But before his life in politics, he was a lawyer that became the first African American partner at his firm, Patton, Boggs & Blow. He died prematurely in a plane crash in 1996 while carrying out his duties as Commerce Secretary.
Read more about him here.