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Patricia Crawford Brown

Date of Death: May 1, 2024

Date of Birth: November 9, 1933


Patricia J. Crawford Brown, a ground-breaking woman in the field of food writing in New York and for the past twenty years an ardent supporter and trustee of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, died peacefully at her residence at Thornton Hall in Brunswick, Maine, on May 1, 2024. She was 90.

Pat was born in Long Beach, CA in 1933 to Frank H. and Margaret J. Vigus Crawford and reared and educated in Southern California where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California. She did graduate work and served on the Dean of Students staff at Stanford University before moving to New York City to begin her publishing career at The New Yorker magazine.

She went on to increasingly responsible positions at other publications, notably as a founding editor at Bon Appetit and Editor-in-Chief at Cuisine. At HarperCollins Publishers, she edited books on food, wine, and entertaining at home. For The New York Times, she oversaw special sections on Italian food and wine in collaboration with noted chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich. During the 1980s, Pat was a consultant to the March of Dimes for its innovative Gourmet Galas, a series of events involving top chefs in 45 cities across the United States.

Throughout her culinary publishing career, Pat mentored countless food writers and editors and leaves a lasting, indelible mark on that industry nationwide. She was a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, The Wine Media Guild, the Book Awards Committee of the James Beard Foundation, the American Society of Magazine Editors, and The PEO Sisterhood.

Pat and her husband John Lee Brady, a senior vice president with Seagram & Sons, retired to Brunswick, Maine, from New York City and Stony Brook, Connecticut, in 2001. She brought with her to Maine her love of music, theater, the arts, and good restaurants, and was a generous patron of many arts organizations. Her passion for arts education led her to the Bowdoin International Music Festival, where she was honored in 2023 for her tireless work in raising scholarship funds for young musicians.

Pat was predeceased by John as well as by her first husband Robert Brown. She is survived by a large group of close friends who will deeply miss her company across the dinner table, the concert venues, and the board room.  

A memorial gathering for Pat will be held in September in Brunswick.

Those wishing to honor Pat’s memory are invited to send contributions to:

Bowdoin International Music Festival

181 Park Row

Brunswick, ME 04011-2006

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