Back to former Georgia governors
Joseph Mackey Brown

Gov. Joseph Mackey Brown

  • June 26, 1909 - July 1, 1911
  • Democratic
  • December 28, 1851
  • March 3, 1932
  • Georgia
  • Oglethorpe University; Harvard Law School
  • Married Cora A. McCord; three children
  • Succeeded


JOSEPH MACKEY BROWN, son of Georgia Governor Joseph Emerson Brown (1857-1865), was born in Canton, Georgia, on December 28, 1851. He graduated from Oglethorpe University in 1872 and attended Harvard Law School, but never finished due to health reasons. He worked as an executive with the Western and Atlantic Railroad for more than 20 years, and in 1904 he was appointed to serve on the Georgia Railroad Commission. Three years later, Governor Hoke Smith abruptly released him, setting off a political dispute that lasted a decade. In 1908, Brown defeated Smith in the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was elected Georgia’s 44th governor. Governor Brown was unsuccessful in his reelection bid in 1910, losing to Hoke Smith, but when Governor Smith resigned to take a seat in the U.S. Senate, Brown was successfully reelected, filling the unexpired term of Governor Smith. During his tenure, prohibition laws were imposed, the Georgia Railroad Commission’s regulatory authority was diminished, taxes were reduced, and the power of labor unions was restricted.  After finishing his second term, Brown was unsuccessful in his 1914 U.S. senatorial bid, losing once again to his nemesis Hoke Smith.  Governor Joseph M. Brown, who authored Mountain Campaigns in Georgia and Astanax, died on March 3, 1932, and he is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta.


Georgia Archives (private papers)

Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Governors’ Portraits

Relation to Another Governor

Recent Georgia Governors