Tribute to Gordon Brown the "inspirational genius" co-founder of major Leamington employer Millward Brown

The wife of major Leamington employer Millward Brown co-founder Gordon Brown has paid tribute to her husband who was outstanding in the field of market research and a much-loved family man.
Millward Brown co-founder Gordon Brown.Millward Brown co-founder Gordon Brown.
Millward Brown co-founder Gordon Brown.

Gordon Brown, 78, died of dementia on June 6.

Describing Gordon as her "soulmate and best friend" his wife Jackie has said: " It was such a rapid decline in a man who has since een desbcribed to me as an 'inspirational genius' for his contribution to the understanding of market research.

It was in 1973 that Gordon, along with Maurice Millward, began the journey towards building an exceptional Market Research company in Leamington Millward Brown - now known as Kantar Millward Brown.

Gordon and Maurice worked long and hard together to make it a company built on honesty and integrity.

Today it has traveled far and wide from its humble beginnings, with offices now in almost every country in the world.

Jackie said: "Gordon was a very focussed person whether it was starting a company, writing a novel, renovating our home or learning to sail. He was never afraid of adventure.

"When he left Oxford university he worked for V.S.O. (Voluntary Service Overseas) teaching Physics and Chemistry in Nigeria.

"Of course, he had to explore during the vacations and on one occasion found himself in Timbuctoo with a bayonet at his back until he agreed to give up the film in his camera and promise to leave on the next boat in an hour’s time.

"Gordon thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor life and enjoyed camping holidays with proper campfires, walking and anything to do with boats.

"It was the latter which began to take over our leisure time.

"Aged 12, he declared that one day he’d have a boat of his own and sail around the world.

"So, the family, and then also Millward Brownies were introduced to the joys, hardships and wetness of sailing.

" It was 'character building'.

"We did, of course, circumnavigate the world when he retired.

"We were afloat for almost five years - just the 2two of us, except when family members joined us for holidays.

" Fair winds and foul, we had to take what was thrown at us and had many adventures, including meeting up with Komodo dragons in Indonesia.

"Fortunately, piracy in the Indian Ocean was not as bad then as it is now but we had the odd scare.

"Throughout his life, Gordon, a Methodist, enjoyed church music - having learned to play a traditional pipe organ, including mastering the pedals, at the age of 15.

"Wherever he lived he would find an organ to play for church services, create ad hoc choirs for special events, and generally play a full part in various aspects of church life.

Behind all this was a man who hugely loved and was loved by me, his daughter Ruth and son Pete, and in more recent years their spouses James and Miriam.

"Then came five wonderful grandchildren Sam, Jacob, Bella, Jemima, and Eleanor.

"He was deeply proud of his family and it’s fitting that he was able to spend the last days of his life in their company."

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