Ron Browne, 73, a research director at The Washington Post for nearly 30 years, died March 5, 2006 of renal failure at his home
in Chevy Chase.
Mr. Browne was among the first generation of newspaper research directors who worked to develop information about
newspaper audiences that advertisers, as well as competing media, could find trustworthy and reliable. He also worked to
make the information useful to the Post news department.
His methods, particularly his concept of creating shared research databases, became a model for newspaper research
departments across the country.
His work was tremendously important in the development of The Washington Post as a business, said Donald E. Graham,
chairman of the board of The Washington Post Co
A fifth-generation Washingtonian, Milton Ronald Browne graduated from Central High School in 1949. He received his
bachelor's degree in 1956 from George Washington University, with interests in psychology and sociology.
He worked at the American Institute for Research from 1955 to 1957, the Bureau of Social Science Research from 1957 to 1959,
American University from 1959 to 1961 and for Geico, the insurance company, from 1961 to 1964. He joined The Post in 1965
and retired as research director in 1993.
In retirement, he was able to indulge in his love of jazz.
Mr. Browne's marriage to Shirlee Browne ended in divorce.
Survivors include his longtime companion and wife of seven years, Jacquelyn Nixon of Chevy Chase; two sons from his first
marriage, Spencer L. Browne of Bethesda and Austin L. Browne of Vista, Calif.; and three grandchildren.