A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

Dr. Edwin Brown, namesake of Taylor’s C.S. Lewis Collection, dies

  • Published: May 29, 2015 12:15PM
Dr. Edwin Brown

Dr. Edwin W. Brown, the physician and college professor whose love of C.S. Lewis led to the C.S. Lewis Collection at Taylor University, died last Saturday. He was 89.

Dr. Brown was born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1926, and was educated at Carnegie Institute of Technology (1943), Amherst College (1943-44), and Houghton College (1946-47). He earned his M.D. at Harvard University (1953). During his career, Dr. Brown held numerous important posts in education and in public health in the United States and around the world. 

He was a military veteran honored in the Indiana War Memorial and also served under President Lyndon B. Johnson, heading up Project Vietnam as part of Project Hope, recruiting volunteer doctors to care for civilians during the war. He was an active member of Rotary International and served on the Board of many organizations.

Dr. Brown was a long-time member of East 91st Street Christian Church and was a founding charter member of Legacy Bible Church. He was very active in Christian missions, particularly in Eastern Europe.

His connection with Taylor University came from his love of renowned English author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis. Dr. Brown became an acclaimed expert on Lewis’ works and his collection of Lewis first editions was referred to by one British publication as the largest known private library of C.S. Lewis first editions.

Those books, as well as a replica of The Eagle and Child English pub where Lewis and fellow authors known as the Inklings regularly met, are housed in the Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends, housed in the Zondervan Library on the Taylor University campus.

In 2007, Dr. Brown wrote In Pursuit of C.S. Lewis: Adventures in Collecting His Works, and his own autobiography, Around the World in Eighty Years...with nothing by chance, both published by Proleptikos Press.

“Ed Brown's astute and tireless efforts to understand and collect the works of C. S Lewis and Friends led to the trove of resources that forms the heart of the Edwin W. Brown Collection in the Zondervan Library,” said Dan Bowell, Taylor’s Librarian and Director of the Zondervan Library. “He grasped and infused the truth about God and the world that these authors conveyed – truth which shaped and energized him.

“Ed was a catalyst for the Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis & Friends at Taylor University and remained an enduring colleague, champion, and friend,” Bowell added. “We will miss him very much but thank God for his life, faith, and friendship.”

Dr. Brown is survived by his wife of 63 years, Patricia; sons Edwin and John; and daughter Wende (Camp), a Taylor alumna. He is also survived by six grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and two brothers.

A Celebration of Dr. Brown's life will be held Saturday, May 30, 2015, at the Aaron Ruben Nelson Mortuary, 11411 North Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, at 11:00 a.m. Calling will be from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Legacy Bible Church, 14074 Trade Center Dr., #123, Fishers, IN 46038, or Taylor University, Edwin W. Brown C.S. Lewis First Editions Collection of Zondervan Library, 236 W. Reade Ave., Upland, IN 46989. Friends may leave a memory or message of condolence by visiting the online obituary.