My name is Jim Brown and my blog, The Sporting Life, might better be described as Jim Brown’s Sporting Life. It came into existence on June 14, 2011, long after I came into existence on January 19, 1947. You can do the math. My intent is to use this venue to scratch my continuing itch to write and communicate, which I have done for most of my life. If I can manage to provide something that you find interesting, provocative or entertaining enough to return to from time to time – I will be pleased – but the itch will still be there.
Jim Brown was born in San Diego on January 19, 1947 in San Diego, California to Charles Aloysius “Mike” Brown and Thelma Vivian ((Haines) Brown. Raised in Golden Hill, he attended Brooklyn Elementary School, Roosevelt Junior High and San Diego High School, graduating in 1964. He later attended Mesa Community College for three years (admittedly, most students finished in just two) followed by a year of steelhead fishing at Humboldt State College where he majored in Wildlife Management, and a few more at San Diego State University where he eventually graduated with a BS in Social Sciences followed by completion of a California Standard Teaching Credential.
At a very early age he developed a keen interest in the outdoors that throughout his life far exceeded his interest in academics. At the age of four he began fishing with his father who is remembered as one of San Diego’s best bass fishermen. When he 12, he was introduced to hunting after moving into the Damkeeper’s house at Lake Sutherland during school vacations. Working on the boat dock as well as in the lake’s concession stand marked the beginning of a career working on the San Diego City Lakes. As a 13 year old in 1960, he attended an Outdoor Careers Conference for 8th graders at the Federal Building (now the Hall of Champions) in Balboa Park where he declared his career goal to become the Manager of the San Diego City Lakes Program, which he achieved 14 years later, in 1974. In 1998 he returned to the Federal Building for induction into the Hall of Champions Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in recognition of his management of the San Diego City Lakes Program.
Concurrent with his work for the City of San Diego, he taught a variety of courses in Recreation Management at United States International University and San Diego State University as well as non-credit recreational fishing courses at both schools and the University of California at San Diego. He provided consulting services in the field of reservoir recreation to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power which resulted in the opening of Upper and Lower Haiwee Reservoirs on the Owens River, the City of Tijuana on the operation of Lake Rodriguez, the Superior Court of Riverside County regarding the operation of Vail Lake, and others. For several years he also served as a consultant for the Daiwa Fishing Tackle Company. As a result of his varied and extensive professional experiences, he was appointed by the United States Fish and Wildlife to work with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation for the development of public boating and fishing opportunities and programs nationwide.
Following his retirement in 2003, he was recognized for “outstanding achievement in serving the needs of the boaters of Southern California” by the California Department of Boating and Waterways, becoming the first person to receive that agency’s award for “Distinguished Public Service.” At the same time, the San Diego City Council in a public ceremony declared October 13, as Jim Brown Day throughout the City of San Diego. In 1974 he became the first recipient of the San Diego Fly Fishers William and Eileen Stroud Award “in recognition of life-long achievements and contributions to San Diego County and Southern California conservation, water management and the sport of fishing.”
Brown began his writing and communications career at an early age as well, beginning with his appointment as Sports Editor of The Russ (San Diego High School’s student newspaper) in 1963. As a result, he was also the student correspondent to the San Diego Union where his by-lines appeared with game summaries during the football season. In the early 1970’s he began a parallel career as a free-lance outdoor writer with credits in local, regional and national publications. After providing features for several years, he became the weekly outdoors columnist for the San Diego Tribune from 1980 until that paper’s merger with the San Diego Union in 1991. During that time he was an active member of, and earned recognition for his work from the Outdoor Writers Association of California and the Outdoor Writers of America.
He was a co-founder and co-host of the All Outdoors Radio Network before turning attention to his blog – The Sporting Life. Ongoing writing includes unpublished fiction and non-fiction that includes the personal memoir – Lake Boy, and a novel – 1A2S1Y4F which is based on his experience with the Selective Service System during the late 1960’s and early 70’s.
Aside from family, his personal interests center around what he describes as his “sporting life” which includes fishing, hunting, gundogs, bad golf, being a lifelong fan of San Diego State University athletics and organizing others with similar interests. Hence his leadership role in the development of the Bumblephuck Anglers, Mexicali Valley Rod, Gun, Racquet and Club Club (MVRGDR&CC), Way Beyond Par Golf Club (WBPGC) and San Diego Stadium Parking Lot Dining and Social Club (SDSPLD&SC). He is also one of five partner/owners of the Whistling Wings Duck Club (WWDC) located near the Salton Sea.
He survives with a wife (Andrea), a son (Ryan) and daughter-in-law (Julia) who live in San Diego, and a daughter (Jennifer) and son-in-law (Tyler) who live in Oroville with his grandchildren (Sydney and Evan).
Donations and services remain fortunately premature at this time.