Sunday, April 12, 2020

Robby Brown, Real Estate Broker and LGBTQ Philanthropist, Dies of Covid-19 Complications at 72

Gay historian Mike Balaban writes:
Robby Brown survived AIDS in the 80s; he survived the cancer that had invaded his body the last several years; but, sadly, he couldn’t outlast the coronavirus and passed away tonight with (I’m told) several friends and his beloved golden lab, Lois, by his side.  
Robby was one of a kind: a southern gentleman; a generous benefactor; a fount of organizational creativity (having been involved with the foundation of the Gay Games with Dr. Tom Waddell in 1982 and birthing NYC’s gargantuan gay Toys for Tots party in his east side one bedroom apartment in 1988); and a friend to countless new arrivals in NYC over the decades. It sounds trite to say it, but Robby will truly be sorely missed! 
I always thought of Robby as “Mr. Gay NY” and don’t know what we’re going to do without him. :( 
Robby was one of the most successful real estate brokers in NYC for decades. A few years ago, he was responsible for the most expensive apartment ever sold to that point in the city’s history: he befriended a gay billionaire in Splash disco and eventually persuaded him to buy TWO apartments on top of each other in the Time Warner Building overlooking Central Park, for a combined $75 million or so. 
Despite being so successful, Robby was mild-mannered and accessible. Hailing from Kentucky, he was affable and even courtly. He supported causes across a wide spectrum, including several LGBTQ non profits whose boards I sat on. 
I was introduced to Robby many years ago at a party at his home in the Hamptons by a mutual friend. Robby was a former competitive swimmer at Princeton who surrounded himself with beautiful boys -- news anchors Thomas Roberts and Bill Hemmer were also in attendance. And what he lacked in tact -- he could be very dismissive of people for whom he had no use -- he made up for in generosity. (I understand a documentary about his life was completed recently.) RIP.


James Dwight Williamson said...

What a kick in the head , good never dies , hope he had a hell of a Will. So sad in so many ways , hope he had tied up his loose ends ,after missing death in other days.

Michael said...

Bill Hemmer..... Um...

jaragon said...

May he Rest in Peace