Lester Raymond Brown (March 14, 1912 – January 4, 2001) was an American jazz musician who led the big band Les Brown and His Band of Renown for nearly seven decades from 1938 to 2000.
Brown was born in Reinerton, Pennsylvania. He enrolled in the Conway Military Band School (later part of Ithaca College) in 1926, studying with famous bandleader Patrick Conway for three years before receiving a music scholarship to the New York Military Academy, where he graduated in 1932. Brown attended college at Duke University from 1932 to 1936. There he led the group Les Brown and His Blue Devils, who performed regularly on Duke's campus and up and down the east coast. Brown took the band on an extensive summer tour in 1936. At the end of the tour, while some of the band members returned to Duke to continue their education, others stayed on with Brown and continued to tour, becoming in 1938 the Band of Renown. The band's o