Until 2007, Jerry Elijah Brown was Dean of the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Montana.
Jerry Elijah Brown came to the University of Montana in 1999 from Auburn University, where he had been a faculty member for 20 years and department head for the last seven. At UM, he was School of Journalism dean until 2007, when he stepped down from that role to join the faculty.
He received his B.A. in journalism from Auburn in 1967, an M.A. in creative writing from Hollins College in 1968 and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University in 1974. He spent a postdoctoral year studying American autobiography at Dartmouth College. From 1976-79, he edited a weekly newspaper near Roanoke, Virginia, an experience he describes as "the perfect preparation for teaching real-world journalism in an academic setting." He wrote a critical biography of the Southern humorist Roy Blount, Jr. in 1990 and was co-author of an award-winning book, "The Federal Road through Georgia, the Creek Nation and Alabama" in 1989.
The youngest of 14 children, he was raised on a farm in Clarke County, Alabama. He and his wife, Libby, a retired high school librarian, have two adult daughters, Brooks and Lindsay. He retired from the j-school in 2009 and lives in North Carolina. He also published a book, Alabama's Mitcham Wars, in 2011.