Bob Brown Interview, May 30, 2019


Bob Brown


Carol Van Valkenburg



Download Audio Interview (237.4 MB)

Download Transcript of Bob Brown Interview (535 KB)


Bob Brown describes some of the many highlights of his 26-year political career serving in both the Montana State House of Representatives and the Senate. He discusses how he first became interested in politics as a young boy, running for student government while attending Montana State University in Bozeman, and meeting Lee Metcalf who gave him advice on how to run a campaign and serve the people of Montana. Brown describes his early years in the House, serving with another young legislator, Dorothy Bradley. He talks about his political mentors including Matt Himsl and Jean Turnage, both of whom advised him, and with whom he served on several committees. Brown discusses some of the important legislation that were introduced, debated and passed while he served in the legislature including the coal moratorium and coal tax, and he shares his opinion about term limits for state legislators and deregulation of utilities in Montana. He tells stories about his fellow legislators and colleagues, including Bruce Crippen, Fred Van Valkenburg, Joe Mazurek, John Mercer, and John Harp. He also describes his relationships and impressions of Montana governors with whom he served including Forrest Anderson, Tom Judge, Ted Schwinden, Stan Stephens, and Marc Racicot. Brown shares his concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump, the future of the Republican Party, and the decrease in bipartisanship both on the national and state level. He concludes by mentioning what he hopes his political legacy will be, and how much he enjoyed being a resident in and a public servant for the state of Montana.


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Document Type

Oral History


Montana State Legislature; Brown, Robert J. “Bob”; Himsl, Matt; Turnage, Jean, Crippen, Bruce; Bradley, Dorothy; Van Valkenburg, Fred; Mazurek, Joe; Mercer, John; Harp, John; Coal moratorium; Coal tax; Coal trust fund, Montana; Economy, Montana; Taxation, Montana; Deregulation, Utilities; Term limits; Trump, Donald J.; Anderson, Forrest, Judge, Tom; Schwinden, Ted; Stephens, Stan; Racicot, Marc; Republican Party; Montana State University; Metcalf, Lee; Bardanouve, Francis; Political campaigns

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Montana Politics and Politicians Oral History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 467-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound file (02:43:23 min.) digital + 1 transcript (53 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

02:43:23 minutes

Local Filename

OH_467_001.mp3; OH_467_001.pdf

Bob Brown Interview, May 30, 2019