Joe Brown is an American lawyer from Washington D.C. Joe Brown hosted the Judge Joe Brown show from 1998 until 2012 and was the first African-American male to preside over a courtroom television show.
Brown was raised in South Central Los Angeles and graduated from Dorsey High School, after which he earned a bachelor's degree in political science. Brown earned his Juris Doctor in 1973 from UCLA and then began his career in Memphis, Tennessee, as the city's first African-American prosecutor. Brown eventually started his own law practice and then became a judge of the State Criminal Court of Shelby County, Tennessee.
Brown gained national media attention while presiding over James Earl Ray's final appeal of his conviction for the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Brown was removed from the case due to an alleged bias, but he had caught the attention of the producers of the "Judge Judy" television show, leading to the creation of the "Judge Joe Brown" program.
Joe Brown has been married once; however the marriage ended in divorce. Brown has two sons and is currently unmarried, as of 2015. Brown was arrested in Memphis, Tennessee, in March 2014. He was charged with five counts of contempt in court and was sentenced to five days in prison. He served his jail time from August 27 to September 1, 2015.