Claude Brown, the author of the classic 1965 semi-autobiographical novel Manchild in the Promised Land (Simon & Schuster), died on February 2. The cause of death was a lung condition.
Brown was born in New York City in 1937 and grew up in Harlem. He graduated from Howard University in 1965 and attended law school first at Stanford, then Rutgers. He also wrote a book called The Children of Ham in 1976. He spent much of the following two decades writing magazine articles, lecturing, and teaching.
Published at the height of the civil rights movement, Manchild in the Promised Land was a controversial book that exposed mainstream audiences to the stark realities of drugs and violence experienced by urban blacks in the 1940s and 1950s.
Manchild in the Promised Land has sold more than four million copies and has been translated into 14 languages. It sells more than 30,000 copies a year and is required reading in many high schools and colleges.
In addition to Ms. Laura Higgins, his longtime companion, he is survived by a daughter, a son, and one grandson.