Edgar Allan Brown was not only a Clemson University Life Trustee, but also a well-known state legislator and power in the Democratic Party. He was born July 11, 1888 near Shiloh Springs in Aiken County, and attended the common schools and the Graniteville Academy. From 1906-1907 he was a law clerk and secretary, and later became the official Court Stenographer for the Second Judicial District, a post he held until 1918. Brown passed the bar exam in 1910. On December 30, 1913 he married Annie Love Sitgreaves. They had one daughter, Emily McBurney Brown, born on July 18, 1921.
Brown was a state representative from 1921-1926, and in 1925 he became Speaker of the House. In 1926 he resigned the Speakership to run for the United States Senate. Brown lost to Senator Edward Smith in the second primary. In 1928, he was elected to the South Carolina Senate where he served until his retirement on July 28, 1972; from 1942 on he was President Pro Tempore. Again in 1954, Senator Brown aspired to become a U.S. Senator. The Democratic Executive Committee chose him to be the Democratic candidate. Strom Thrumond opposed him in a write-in campaign and defeated Brown. He was active in the Democratic Party, serving as Chairman of the state party and on the Executive Committees at the county, state, and national levels.
Senator Brown was elected by the Legislature in 1934 to the Board of Trustees of Clemson Agricultural College. Following a temporary absence in 1947, he was elected a Life Trustee in 1948. From Clemson he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1955. During the 1950s, he actively participated in implementing Clemson's reorganization plan and the controversy regarding the Hartwell Dam. During the 1960s, Brown helped oversee the peaceful integration of Clemson and its building program. Senator Brown died on June 26, 1975. Mrs. Brown had died earlier on May 26, 1973. His papers, which were donated to Clemson in 1969 and 1975, are available for use in Special Collections, where they are instrumental in documenting the Democratic Party in the state and the history of South Carolina in the twentieth century.
The Edgar Brown Room was dedicated on May 6, 1971.