Washington Post auto industry reporter Warren Brown dies at 70

WASHINGTON — Warren Brown, The Washington Post reporter and columnist who covered the automotive industry, has died Thursday.

Brown, 70, died after years of issues related to kidney disease. He also covered his health struggles, detailing his journey when he received a kidney transplant from his Washington Post colleague Martha McNeil Hamilton in 2001.

According to The Washington Post, Brown joined the newsroom in 1978 as a national reporter, but eventually went on to specialize in covering the auto industry for the paper.

The Louisiana native wrote in his 2009 farewell column: “What began as a news beat in 1982 became and remains a mission. In the process, I have morphed from journalist into servant, which is the proper mindset for covering an industry on which so many people depend.”

Brown’s coverage of the auto industry also included insights into race and class, saying in a 2010 C-SPAN interview, “I’ve always been interested in automobiles. I mean, I grew up in New Orleans in the late 1940s and ’50s and ’60s, when I had to sit at the back of the bus — certainly in the ’50s. And that always bothered me.”

“Cars have always meant more to me than the sum of their parts. They were a way to escape — you know, see other worlds. They were also a way for me to see my parents in charge of something rather than sitting behind a sign,” he added.

The Washington Automotive Press Association said in statement that Brown was known for “his journalistic skills, positive attitude, sense of humor and dignity.”

Brown’s wake is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday; the funeral mass starts 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Both will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown.

Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

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