In Memoriam: Anthony S. Brown and Luther E. Tyson
The Pax World family mourns the death of two of our founders, Anthony S. ("Tony") Brown, and Luther E. Tyson, who passed away on April 26, 2008 and April 22, 2008, respectively. As founders and guiding forces behind Pax World from the time of its founding in 1971 until the late 1990's, Luther Tyson and Tony Brown were present at the creation – socially responsible or sustainable investing is where it is today in large part due to their pioneering leadership.
When Luther Tyson and Jack Corbett, two United Methodist ministers, teamed up to launch the Pax World Balanced Fund in 1971, and asked Tony Brown to serve as portfolio manager of the fund, they launched the first publicly available socially responsible mutual fund in America. At the time, Luther Tyson was serving as director of the Department of Economic Life for the Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. The Vietnam War was raging and a letter arrived on his desk from a woman in Ohio asking if it was possible to invest in a mutual fund that didn't invest in war-related industries. Luther checked into it and, finding that there were none, decided to start such a fund himself – one that not only wouldn't invest in war-related industries but that was more broadly dedicated to both the financial and the social well-being of its shareholders. A fellow member of the Methodist Church's Board of Church and Society, Jack Corbett, joined Luther in this effort while Luther's wife, Mary, is credited with coming up with the name "Pax" – a derivative of the Latin word for peace – to name the new fund.
Luther asked Paul Brown Sr., a broker in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to run a model portfolio to see if the idea – a "social" fund – would work. When they concluded that it could, Luther brought in Paul Brown's son, Tony Brown, a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance with a keen business sense and an outstanding reputation, to manage the fund. Tony became one of the three founders and steered the Pax World Fund – later renamed the Pax World Balanced Fund – from its inception in 1971 until his son Chris took over day-to-day management of the Fund in 1997.
While Luther Tyson had the vision to imagine that investors could invest with their values, Tony Brown was determined to prove that you could do so without sacrificing performance. That he did, and in combining these two insights – that investors could invest with their values without sacrificing performance – Luther Tyson and Tony Brown helped launch what is today a $2 trillion industry. Just as important, they made a lasting contribution to the way investors invest, the way corporations behave, and the way markets work. No small accomplishment.
Luther and Tony retired from Pax World in 1997, shortly after selling the management company. After leaving Pax World, Luther devoted some time to academic pursuits (he had a doctorate in two fields, philosophy and Psychology) and was very involved in Boston University's School of Theology. In recent years, he made his home in Florida. Luther was not only a visionary but a warm, kind-hearted man who is remembered fondly by the many Pax World shareholders and employees who knew him.
Tony Brown retired but never really left Pax World. A lifelong resident of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where Pax makes its headquarters, Tony stayed in very close touch with the firm. Why not? His son Chris manages his old fund, his daughter Janet serves as our Vice President for Human Resources, and we were lucky enough to enjoy his frequent visits, to break bread with him now and again, and to get his sage advice (which he was never reluctant to give!) over the years. He was simply a wonderful man, who knew stocks, and knew markets, but also knew human nature – and knew how to enjoy the company of family and friends and colleagues, and to make life more fun for everyone around him. We extend our sincere condolences to Chris and Janet, and to the rest of the Brown family.
We mourn the loss of Tony Brown and Luther Tyson but we also celebrate their lives, and we are ever mindful of and thankful for the legacy they created. We are the beneficiaries of that legacy – shareholders, employees, the entire Pax World family. Indeed, as founders and stewards of Pax World for so many years, Tony and Luther left behind something that will live on – and that will hopefully touch and improve lives for generations to come. May we keep them in our memories, and may we carry forward their work.