Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Peter F. Brown (1960-1999)

Peter F. Brown (1960-1999) was a dentist (b. May 29, 1960; Red Bank, Monmouth County, New Jersey - d. May 10, 1999; Heroin overdose in his car at East 9th Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York) He went to Fairleigh Dickinson dental school after graduating Rutgers.

I knew Pete when he was an undergraduate at Rutgers in New Brunswick, and I was going to graduate school there. He was a friend of my landlord. He always talked about running, and was always proud of his Scottish heritage. His favorite movies were "Personal Best" and "Chariots of Fire". He did enjoy drinking, and would bring alcohol to his classes in a soda bottle. Once he went to a local sub shop that Rob, the landlord liked and was complaining about how much he preferred another sub shop the whole time he was waiting in line. The guy who took his order and made the sandwich must have gotten tired of hearing Pete complain, so when Pete got home his sub was made of nothing but lettuce and tomato, with no meat. I later heard that Peter got into trouble and had to go to rehab to keep his dental license when a patient complained that he appeared intoxicated during a visit.
Source: Richard Arthur Norton, March 17, 2009

It all started on a Monday about a month ago. Three people, thought to have bought their heroin in the East Village, overdosed in one day. Richard Spadafora, a 42-year-old printer, died on Hudson Street. Matthew Boyd, a 26-year-old who used to hang around in Tompkins Square Park, was pronounced dead at Beth Israel. And Peter Brown, a white dentist from New Jersey, was found dead in his car on East 9th Street. The next day another man overdosed in his room in the Brooklyn YMCA. Less than a week after that, a 23-year-old died on East 9th Street, at the same spot where Boyd overdosed.
Source: Village Voice, June 15, 1999

4 Deaths, 4 Places, One Problem: An Increase in the Use of Heroin
A dentist from New Jersey is found dead in his maroon Oldsmobile on an East Village street. A young drifter dies on the same street in a tenement that he shared with squatters. A pressman dies at the TriBeCa printing company where he worked. And a 35-year-old man is found dead in his room at a Y.M.C.A. in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. ... That was painfully evident yesterday in Summit, N.J., where friends, neighbors and patients were trying to grapple with the news that Dr. Peter Brown, 39, whom they knew as a dentist, a long-distance runner and an avid gardener, had apparently died of a heroin overdose. ''If you had a picture of a heroin addict, it just wouldn't be him,'' said James Ralston, the president of a software company with its office in the same building as Dr. Brown's dental practice, on a genteel stretch of road. ... Dr. Brown was found dead in his car at 6:30 A.M. on Monday on Ninth Street between Avenues C and D. Some empty glassine envelopes were beside his body, the police said. An autopsy conducted yesterday was inconclusive, and pathologists are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before they announce the cause of his death, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the office of the Chief Medical Examiner. ... In Summit, friends said that Dr. Brown had struggled with alcohol but that they had never suspected drug use. ''I can't get over this,'' a friend said. ''I didn't sleep a wink last night.'' Outside a church in Summit where Dr. Brown had attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, people shook their heads. ''Peter tried his hardest,'' said Steve, a patient and friend who in keeping with the group's tradition gave only his first name. ''It hurt me that he couldn't stay sober, and it's sad that he couldn't pass away sober. But his death will make me more diligent about staying sober.''
Source: New York Times; May 12, 1999

Cops were investigating whether a lethal batch of heroin is being sold in Alphabet City after a New Jersey dentist and a lower East Side drifter died of apparent overdoses yesterday hours apart on the same Manhattan block. ... A few hours later, just before 6:30 a.m., police and paramedics were back on the block, between Avenues C and D. Inside a parked Buick Regal was the body of Dr. Peter Brown, 39, of Summit, N.J., and some empty glassine envelopes. Authorities said they believed he snorted his smack.
Source: New York Daily News; March 11, 1999

Profiles like these parallel the life of Dr. Peter Brown, a 39-year-old dentist from Summit, N.J., found dead May 10 in his car on E. Ninth St. on the lower East Side after apparently snorting smack. He was known on the drug scene as a weekend warrior, drugging amid the drifters like the two found dead on the same block that week. They are believed to be two more victims of a lethal batch of heroin copped in Alphabet City.
Source: New York Daily News; May 23, 1999

Dr. Peter F. Brown, son of Frederick G. Brown, nephew of Mary Lou (Brown) Cantrella, husband of Ellen Brown. Pete was a dentist who was well loved by his patients. He was a runner who had won many awards. He is now with his father whom he adored and his older brother, Michael, who died when Peter was only five.
Source: Findagrave